Working from home a burden for most

Poll shows that four in five believe they work better from an office

Working from home

Photo Thomas Brun / NTB scanpix
A new poll has shown that most Norwegains believe that they work better from an office than from home, while at the same time, they have become more competent with digital meeting platforms.


Just one of five people believe they work better from home than they do at the office, a new study shows, and more women than men have home offices.

Telenor hired analysis firm Kantar to carry out an opinion poll about work life after the coronavirus sent many employees to home offices.

Missing the job

The study shows that the majority of the 1,000 participants say they have increased their digital competence and have become more confident in online tools like digital meeting platforms. At the same time, a clear majority—80%—say they work better at the workplace than from home.

“Digital tools like video conferencing and messaging services cannot replace those interpersonal relationships. We also experience that here at Telenor. The processes take longer when things that used to be solved in a conversation must now be based in digital solutions,” said Petter-Børre Furberg, director of Telenor Norge.

More women

Further, the study shows that more women than men are in a home office. Almost half of the women in the study, 47.7%, work from home, versus 36.5% of the men.

Moreover, Oslo has far more people working from home than other counties.

“Here in Oslo, we’re seeing a structural difference in the types of workplaces. There are the big public firms and companies that are based in Oslo, and these are, based on experience, best equipped to set up employees to work from home,” said Furberg.

Asked to stay home

Polls about coronavirus by Opinion, another analysis firm, also asked Norwegians about the issue. Interviews with 6,000 people show that six of 10 workers began the workweek after Easter from a home office. In Oslo, three of four began at home.

“There is reason to believe that the service sector, education sector, and office-based workplaces choose home-office solutions to a greater degree and that these sectors are also characterized by staff with higher levels of education,” said senior advisor Ola Gaute Aas Askheim at Opinion.

About half of those employed also say that they have been asked to stay home from work even though they are not sick.

“Phone central”

The coronavirus pandemic has also revealed the meaning of mobile solutions: The Directorate of Health uses SMS for information outreach, municipalities use mobile data to keep watch on the cabin ban, and stores recommend Vipps and card payments out of concern for infection.

“Norwegians are major consumers of mobile solutions. The crisis has shown us that the smartphone is central to the fight against infection,” said Furberg.

This article originally appeared in the May 8, 2020, issue of The Norwegian American.

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The Norwegian American

The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.