The pandemic has made us rethink remote working

Nov 16, 2021.

Approximately 80% of Swiss employees are enjoying the increased flexibility that comes with working from home and don’t want to give up their improved work-life balance. And around half are in favour of mandatory workplace COVID certificates.

Many employers offered it as an option even before the pandemic: working from home. But it was certainly the COVID-19 pandemic that brought widespread awareness that work can also be done in a location other than the workplace. Many employees in Switzerland like the combination of working from home and going into the office, according to a survey by Generali Switzerland.


Many find working from home more efficient

More than 80% of those surveyed state that they are able to work from home undisturbed. “What’s more, working from home has a positive impact on people’s work-life balance. This in turn has a positive effect on mental health,” says Jean-Pierre Schmid, Chief Customer Services & Human Resources Officer of Generali Switzerland. By their own assessment, employees who work from home are also more productive (68%) and more efficient (66%) – another fact that should please employers. In addition, nearly half (48%) state that they have their own room for working at home, while 33% work in a living or dining room.


The return to the office is characterised by uncertainty

Almost half of the respondents (46%) say that they are concerned about a fourth wave. They are also afraid of having too much contact with others in the office. 52% would even welcome mandatory COVID certificates at their workplace. But the fear of a fourth wave is not the only factor affecting the return to the office: 60% of respondents say that they miss social contact with their colleagues. Many also miss contact with friends. Schmid confirms these findings. “We too are finding that employees are increasingly returning to the office and enjoying interacting with colleagues.” Personal interaction is more important for women than men. While 50% of women intend to work exclusively in the office again, only 38% of men anticipate doing so.


Changes in commuter behaviour

The consequences of working from home, such as an improved work-life balance, also have an impact on commuting. The coronavirus pandemic has changed the commuting habits of 30% of respondents. Of these, half (54%) would like to commute less in future. A third are no longer willing to invest so much time in commuting. And 18% want to avoid public transport in future and switch to driving.


The pandemic is driving remote working

According to the survey, few employees were working from home before the coronavirus pandemic. Only 18% worked from home for two or more days a week. In the period of the study this figure stood at 36%. Well over half of the respondents say that they are satisfied or very satisfied with the conditions that their employer offers. The number of days spent working from home has a clear influence on employee satisfaction. Some companies already offered the option of working remotely before the pandemic. Of those surveyed, 19% stated that they preferred working only on site, while 44% had supervisors who didn’t allow remote working. Now, employees have developed a taste for it. In light of the new possibilities offered by employers, more than half of respondents are planning to work from home in future. “This change in thinking is something we’ve observed in our company too. Most employees are taking advantage of the option of working around 50% of their hours from home, which improves their work-life balance,” explains Schmid.



The survey, which is representative of the population as a whole, was carried out on behalf of Generali Switzerland between 22 and 29 September 2021, with 417 people taking part.


The Generali Group is an independent Italian group with a strong international presence. Established in 1831, the company is now one of the world’s leading insurers. Generali has around 72,000 employees serving more than 65.9 million customers in 50 countries. The Group’s total income came to more than EUR 70.7 billion in 2020, making Generali the market leader in Western Europe. The company is also an increasingly important player in Central and Eastern Europe as well as in Asia.


Generali’s roots in Switzerland date back to 1887. Today, Generali (Switzerland) Holding Ltd. operates throughout Switzerland, with two head offices – one in Adliswil and one in Nyon – and a wide network of agencies. The insurer has more than one million customers and offers products for every situation in life. These include property insurance, legal expenses insurance, life insurance and pension solutions. Generali partners with start-ups to develop innovative products. The company is the first Swiss insurer to launch a fully digital pillar 3a.