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Half-Empty Offices in Flexible Work Arrangements: Why Are Employees Not Returning?
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1744-3118
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2669-0778
SINTEF Digital, NOR.
SINTEF Digital, NOR.
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2022 (English)In: Product-Focused Software Process Improvement / [ed] Taibi D., Kuhrmann M., Mikkonen T.,, Springer Science+Business Media B.V., 2022, p. 252-261Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Although the forced working from home during the pandemic crisis seem to have ended, many knowledge workers choose to continue working predominantly from home as a partial or permanent practice. Related studies show that employees of companies from various industries, diverse in size and location, prefer to alter working in the office with working at home, coined as hybrid or flexible working arrangements. As a result, offices remain empty, managers are confused, and organizational leaders do not know what to do with the often-expensive rental contracts. In this short paper, we investigate the employee presence in the offices in two software companies and dive deeper into the reasons behind the preferences to work remotely, and practices that help to attract employees back into the offices. The latter are based on the qualitative analysis of interviews and survey responses. Our findings suggest that between the fall of 2021 and the summer of 2022, the offices were half-empty and that, on average, the daily office presence varies between 13–30%. The peaks of office presence in both companies are on Wednesdays, reaching up to 50% during weeks with low virus spread in one company, and in the spring months in 2022 in the other company. The reasons for remote work include behavioral and practical motivations, factors related to office equipment and facilities, and the nature of the work tasks. © 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Science+Business Media B.V., 2022. p. 252-261
Series
Lecture Notes in Computer Science, ISSN 0302-9743, E-ISSN 1611-3349 ; 13709
Keywords [en]
Hybrid workplace, Remote work, WFH, Work from home, Viruses, Flexible working, Knowledge workers, Organisational, Qualitative analysis, Software company, Virus spreads, Personnel
National Category
Work Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-24055DOI: 10.1007/978-3-031-21388-5_18ISI: 000897035000018Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85142754531ISBN: 9783031213878 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:bth-24055DiVA, id: diva2:1718089
Conference
23rd International Conference on Product-Focused Software Process Improvement, PROFES 2022, Jyväskylä, 21 November through 23 November 2022
Funder
The Research Council of Norway, 309344The Research Council of Norway, 321477
Note

open access

Available from: 2022-12-12 Created: 2022-12-12 Last updated: 2023-02-02Bibliographically approved

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Šmite, DarjaMoe, Nils Brede

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