"Employees really value the option to work from home"

Woman with laptop and mobile phone, sitting at the window of her flat

Employees in Germany work from home one day a week on average. This puts them in the middle of the European field.

07/19/2023 · News · ifo Institut Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung an der Universität München e. V. · Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Raumwissenschaften · Forschungsergebnis

In the United States, the average time spent working from home is 1.4 days per week. In the United Kingdom, employees work from home for 1.5 days per week on average. In Australia, the average is 1.3 days. The leader among the English-speaking countries is Canada, at 1.7 days per week. In other Western countries, people spend much less time working from home. The average in Germany is 1.0 days, while in France and Italy, it is just 0.6 and 0.7 days per week. This is the finding of a survey of full-time employees conducted by the ifo Institute in a total of 34 countries.

“What we’re seeing is that employees really value the option to work from home. However, there’s a gap between the number of days that employees would like to work from home and the number that their employers are planning for them,” says Mathias Dolls, Deputy Director of the ifo Center for Macroeconomics and Surveys.

In the US, employees want to work from home on 2.6 days per week on average. In the UK, the figure is 2.3 days, in Canada 2.5 days. In Australia, people would like 2.2 days per week of working from home. In contrast, employers in the US plan to offer 1.9 days of working from home per week in the future. In the UK, employers are aiming for 1.7 days, in Canada 1.8 days, and in Australia 1.6 days per week of working from home.

The researchers also asked employees what benefits they perceive in working in the office and what they like about working from home. The main advantages of working from home are time and cost efficiency as well as flexibility. What employees value most about working in the office is the interaction with colleagues, better collaboration, and a clear distinction between work and private life.

The survey was conducted in April and May 2023. There are 2,500 representative responses in each of France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Responses from around 42,400 full-time employees in 34 countries were evaluated. Respondents are between 20 and 64 years old and have at least a high school diploma.

Working from Home Around the Globe: 2023 Report

Further information and contact

Press release - ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich