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Remote Work in Switzerland

Updated: Nov 6, 2023



Switzerland ranked number one in Europe for remote working readiness!


Switzerland stands out as the most well-prepared European country for remote work and is particularly enthusiastic about adopting new leadership practices post-Covid-19.


According to Robert Walters' survey, Swiss organizations demonstrated greater readiness for remote work compared to their European counterparts. While 71% of Swiss organizations promptly enabled their employees to work remotely in response to Covid-19, only 55% of European organizations could do the same.


Looking forward to the evolving work landscape, 78% of Swiss organizations have intentions to offer more opportunities for remote work after Covid-19. Despite concerns about the potential decrease in productivity when working from home, 88% of Swiss organizations reported no decline in productivity, with some even noting an increase in employee output.


Research predicts that 40% of Swiss employees will be regularly working from home within a decade.


The anticipated increase in remote work is set to enhance the appeal of well-connected small to medium-sized towns, where individuals can discover residences offering more space and better access to outdoor areas. Additionally, tourist towns, known for their popularity with second homes, are likely to become more enticing.


Nonetheless, the report suggests that people's choice of residence is unlikely to undergo a fundamental transformation. Established social connections will continue to be significant and will limit how far people are willing to relocate. Furthermore, lifestyle preferences, encompassing factors such as home design and location, tend to remain consistent throughout one's lifetime.


Switzerland's decentralized economy and efficient infrastructure have already prompted many individuals to reside away from their workplace, indicating that this phenomenon is already well-entrenched to a significant extent.


Gen Z changing the game


The workforce is experiencing the entry of Generation Z, and their approach to work and career markedly differs from previous generations, including the gradually retiring "baby boomers."


Some challenges include:

  • Standardization of Remote Work:

    • Generation Z views remote work options as a standard contractual feature

  • Attraction Strategies:

    • Employers are using various incentives such as flexible working hours, wellness programs, and career training solutions to attract and retain talented young workers

  • Low Loyalty and Longevity:

    • Compared to previous generations, Generation Z exhibits lower levels of loyalty and longevity in the workplace. Their focus on career and lifestyle often takes precedence over long-term commitments to a single employer

New view on Leadership emerges


Swiss professionals are expressing a strong desire for a shift in their leaders' behavior, surpassing the sentiments of professionals in any other European country when it comes to adapting to the evolving work landscape:

  • 68% of Swiss professionals wish for their leaders to enhance their grasp of technology in the context of remote work, in contrast to the European average of 58%

  • 63% believe their leaders should refine their communication skills, outpacing the global figure of 55%

  • 59% of Swiss professionals advocate for their leaders to transition from a top-down approach to a more collaborative one, exceeding the global percentage of 45%

Downsides to working in home office


Nonetheless, an excess of something positive can turn unfavorable. As a result, working from home presents its own set of challenges:

  • 44% of respondents consider the lack of interaction with colleagues a major challenge

  • Working from home can lead to distractions from partners, children, and others sharing the same space, as reported by 28% of respondents

  • Other challenges associated with home office include inadequate access to the right equipment (22%)

  • A shortage of workspace is also noted as a challenge by 20% of the respondents


What can companies do?


Regular face-to-face gatherings are increasingly crucial for fostering a strong corporate culture. In fact, Microsoft's Work Trend Index reveals that 84% of employees express a willingness to return to the workplace if it means having the opportunity to interact socially with their peers. While indulging in tasty snacks at home is convenient, it cannot replace the connections formed with colleagues that can only happen when you're not working from your home office.


Other companies, such as eBay Switzerland are encouraging employees to join networking groups such as Women in Digital Switzerland in order to take advantage of established, vibrant communities.


Specialists recommend the following actions:
  • Identify Target Collaboration Groups: Determine which groups, both within and outside the organization, would benefit from in-person collaborations. Striking a balance can be challenging, as not everyone needs or wants to attend every event, yet it's essential to facilitate meetings that break down silos

  • Appoint Event Planning Personnel: Identify individuals within your organization responsible for event planning. This could involve forming a centralized event team, utilizing occasional event planners (such as team leaders, office managers, or client-facing staff), or combining both approaches

  • Allocate Space for Small Events and Collaborative Meetings: Dedicate internal spaces specifically for small-scale events and collaborative meetings, with a focus on frequent interactions.

  • Empower Event Planners: Enable event planners to organize unconventional meetings by providing them with the necessary resources. This includes assigning budgets, setting guidelines, and accessing sourcing tools

  • Communicate the Strategic Importance: Clearly convey to the management team that these events serve as a tool for fostering connections, encompassing both clients and staff, and should be an integral part of the organizational strategy

  • Share Event Highlights: Cultivate the practice of sharing event photos and testimonials after social gatherings to create enthusiasm and engagement within your internal teams

  • Seek out established networks: An alternative approach to dedicating internal resources could be partnering with external, established communities and encouraging employees to engage goes a long way to fill the gap.


"Working from home is not just a location change; it's a lifestyle adjustment that calls for adaptability and balance."

Adapting to working from home as the new normal requires embracing flexibility, efficient time management, and the ability to maintain a work-life balance.


It's a shift that rewards self-discipline and technology integration while redefining the traditional workspace. Companies need to pivot towards a future where remote work is integral. This shift demands investments in technology, fostering a strong virtual culture, and reevaluating performance metrics, all while prioritizing employee well-being and flexibility.


 

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