Survey: Corona will change working life in companies in the long term

A study with 1,612 participants from various industries has analyzed the economic consequences of the corona crisis in the German-speaking countries.

The key results: On the one hand, the order situation for the vast majority of companies has deteriorated and only 7 percent believe they can continue as before.

On the other hand, more than half of the participants are optimistic about the future and see growth opportunities, especially in the area of ​​digitization.

The Haufe Group has commissioned a study on the economic impact of the corona lockdown. The aim of the study was “not only to determine the current situation, but also perspectives that result from this for the future and not only to take a look at external factors such as markets, but also at internal design intentions in companies”.

The result is a differentiated picture of how Corona has affected our economy and what that means for the future of the company. For this purpose, 1,612 employees, founders and executives from various industries in the German-speaking area were surveyed.

Based on their answers, the study leaders divided the respondents into four groups: the “powerful” who are very optimistic and see opportunities in the crisis, the “hopeful” who see both challenges and opportunities in the crisis, the “insecure”, who look skeptically into the future and the “resigned” who see little scope for design.

Despite the crisis, more than half of the respondents are rather optimistic

It is surprising that in the midst of the crisis there are almost twice as many “powerful” (26 percent) as “resigned (15 percent). Also, more than half (55 percent) belong to the two more optimistic groups, while the more pessimistic make up only 45 percent.

These figures are all the more surprising because the economic situation determined has clearly darkened for the absolute majority of those surveyed: 69 percent of those surveyed report declining orders, while only 13 percent report order increases.

However, more than half of the study participants assume that sales will increase again from 2021. This means that the vast majority suffers from the economic consequences of the crisis and yet is positive about the future.

The study directors summarize these sometimes contradicting results as follows: “The majority of the respondents are optimistic. Your companies want and will grow again. You see light at the end of the tunnel. In general, the vast majority of respondents expect the situation to have calmed down by the end of the year. However, not everything is good. Business development has slumped across the board. ”

93 percent agree that we cannot continue economically after the crisis as before

Almost all respondents (93 percent) agree that we cannot continue to do business economically after the crisis as before. Only 7 percent disagreed with this statement. For most people, digitization seems to be at the center of this necessary change: 70 percent of those surveyed stated that they had determined during the crisis that they could continue to digitize their core business.

This will also mean that more work will be possible from the home office in the future: On average, 39 percent say that flexibility measures such as the home office will continue to be more important to them in the future. While 47 percent of the powerful agreed with this statement, it was still 31 percent among the resigned.

The crisis will change everyday work in many companies

In general, the crisis will change the corporate culture and everyday working life in many companies in the long term. 18 percent of the “powerful” are of the opinion that the crisis has already led to fewer – or even no – hierarchies in their own companies. On average, 11 percent agreed.

Self-organization, personal responsibility and new management models will play a greater role in many companies after the crisis, because “Corona required quick and courageous decisions – under uncertainty, sometimes in isolation, often from actors from different hierarchical levels”.

These questions were also the most popular among optimists and crisis winners: 24 percent of the “powerful” will “bundle and accelerate decision-making processes” (average 18 percent) and at least 13 percent will “increasingly decentralize decision-making processes” (average 8 percent).

However, many companies also demand more from their employees

But these changes are not just positive. Just under half (51 percent) of those questioned answered whether the crisis welded their company together. For many, nothing has changed, but at least one in five (19 percent) even reported the opposite.

On average, 13 percent of companies will focus more on hard numbers such as return on investment in the future, and 19 percent will require their employees to adapt to new situations faster and more flexibly.

This means that even if the “powerful” criminals win, more than one in five companies (21 percent) will become more flexible, for example by involving freelancers. On average, 13 percent of the companies agreed with this statement.


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