Will working from home be the new normal?
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic Europe has been discussing the long-term impact the crisis could have on work and life, and whether working from home, for example, should be the rule - at least for those who can do their work from home. This could be between 20 and 40 percent of the workforce, depending on the country. After more than a year, commentators give a clear yes to telework.
Brain gain for Eastern Europe
The Wiener Zeitung welcomes the fact that many EU countries are doing more to make themselves attractive to digital workers by offering tax breaks and reducing bureaucratic hurdles:
“Incidentally, it's the countries of Eastern Europe that are benefiting most from this development. After the massive brain drain of the last 30 years, a brain gain is now taking place. A number of the qualified workers who had emigrated to Austria and Germany because of the higher wages have partly returned home in the pandemic and are working for their companies from Prague, Budapest, Belgrade or Sofia. Many of them will decide to stay. ... It must be possible to work from anywhere, at least within the EU.”
Time for enduring change
Working from home is the model of the future, Turun Sanomat concurs:
“Returning to the old system is not an alternative, because if working from home is done properly it can increase flexibility in working life. For families with children, for example, teleworking makes everyday life much easier. ... Rigid forms of work organisation must be abandoned. Working from home can be organised in many ways, but now there is a unique opportunity to reform existing work structures. This is not a zero-sum game, because both employees and employers stand to benefit from an effective reform.”