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German survey finds fewer classic offices

Companies are looking towards a future with home offices instead of traditional office jobs, with people working as external specialists and using video conferencing to collaborate in virtual teams.

This is the result of a representative survey of 1,500 CEOs and HR managers at companies from all industries on behalf of German IT digital association BITKOM.

The classic office workplace with its compulsory attendance loses importance in future, say around a quarter of the sample.

At the same time, almost every third of the companies expect that the Home Office is becoming important. "The digitization of the world of work is a central part of the economy, the digital transformation of our economy," said BITKOM President Prof. Dieter Kempf. "Many companies will have to adjust. Flexible working, even from home is something to be expected especially with well-educated graduates. "

In the future, external specialists will play a major role in the economic success of a company say 35% of the companies surveyed, currently this is only about 24%. Three-quarters of companies (73%) say use of external experts is increasing the pace of innovation.

Most companies do not try to cut personnel costs by external experts. "It's the use of external specialists actually seeking to increase the performance and the speed of innovation, not a simple austerity program," Kempf said. One in three companies (31%) will put more work in the future out to freelancers.

Much more important are also virtual meetings, especially with the help of video conferencing. Today, only 8% of the companies often use video conferencing for cooperation. 39% assume that this proportion will increase in the future. The classic conference call, which 44% of companies use frequently will gain in importance. 34% even want to use them more often. The digitalization of the workplace leads to assessment of the economy to growth and innovation in Germany. In the study, 70% of companies believed that the use of external specialists and virtual collaboration will increase the pace of innovation in the home office. Two-thirds (65 percent) expect the German economy will thus grow stronger as a result.


"The digitization creates jobs and growth," said Kempf. "But we must be careful that we do not put obstacles in the way. " In this context, he warned against making by excessive regulation in labour as in the planned new workplace regulations or the subject of contracts for work. Kempf: "With these rules, we get no digital economy and their employment potential is lost."