One in three Latvians works remotely

During the pandemic, many residents of Latvia started working remotely from home or in hybrid mode. A survey carried out by Kantar shows that currently, only 68% of employees work at the workplace, 24% are hybrid, while 8% work from home, Latvian Radio reported on August 29.

If, before the pandemic, 78% of employees worked at the workplace, their number has now fallen by 10%. On the other hand, the number of employees working from home or remotely increased from 4% to 8% and the proportion of employees working in hybrid mode increased from 18% to 24%. Representative of the research company Kantar, sociologist Signe Kaņējeva said: "Of course, hybrid work is becoming increasingly popular, both in the world and in Latvia. In general, a third of employees are already working in a semi-remote mode, either from home alone or by dividing their working hours between work and home. And it may also become even more popular, but of course, it has some limiting factors, perhaps because of the specific nature of the industry. One of the key factors is the ability to reconcile this work and home life, where there may also be greater efficiency, flexibility, productivity, and not perhaps these disturbances which are often in the working environment. Whereas one might say that hybrid working arrangements certainly contribute to worker satisfaction."

Since the beginning of last year, the employer has been allowed to compensate the employee for €30 per month for remote work. Most often, electricity and Internet costs are covered and are used more by IT and communications companies. Chairman of LTRK Board Jānis Endziņš said that some entrepreneurs manage to save resources if employees work remotely: “Of course, some savings are there, because of electricity, coffee and water, and so on. This is, of course, saved, but at the same time employers also help the employee to work at home – the same Internet connection and various other things. [..] I think that more and more, especially young people, are very much in favor of such an approach – an opportunity to work from home, and I think it will only grow gradually.”

After the pandemic, many employers have also improved their working environment to make office work more comfortable and enjoyable, while at home the technical side of work may not be perfect.

“Sometimes, however, people realize that the Internet doesn't work, something with those systems isn't convenient. And if I can go talk to my colleague [onsite] more quickly, it will also have an advantage over someone who works remotely: sending email and waiting for an answer. Then there must be another important thing: people who work remotely or in a hybrid, especially where quite a lot of colleagues work in person, may be at a disadvantage with regard to growth or some exchange of information, perhaps it is more difficult to get your remote work noticed,” said psychology Dr. Sanita Šaitere.

The Kantar study shows that the overall satisfaction of workers with their current work during the year has not changed significantly, but those employees who have chosen to work remotely are more satisfied than those who continue to work in person.

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