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A majority want working from home to continue, new survey finds

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By Euronews
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A majority want working from home to continue, new survey finds
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Two-thirds of workers want teleworking to continue once the COVID-19 pandemic is over, according to a new survey.

The poll, carried out in 29 countries among 12,500 employees, found 66% of workers think employers should allow for more flexible working in the future, meaning some days at home and some in the office.

Given the option to choose, those in favour of open-ended working days would like to spend half the week working from home and the rest from the office, the survey -- carried out by Ipsos for the World Economic forum -- revealed.

People in Belgium and France, as well as in China are the least keen, preferring to work just under two days per week from home.

Indian people came out as the most enthusiastic, wanting to telework for nearly three and a half days of the week.

One AXA Bank in Brussels is already looking ahead to the end of the pandemic.

From September 1st, its employees can decide to work from home or the office whenever they need, as part of a trade union agreement.

Wim Pauwels, the spokesperson for the branch, told Euronews the decision will stop people from making up reasons not to come work.

"It's possible that you'll be working on a project five days from home one week, and then come to the office three days in the next week, to meet colleagues, to present what you've been preparing," Pauwels said. "The way we are working avoids extreme situations. You will never have a colleague that will not show up at work."

From a European policy perspective, Mario Mariniello, a senior fellow at the think-tank Bruegel, says the current agreement governing teleworking in the EU is outdated and needs updating.

"What we currently have is actually a European Telework Framework Agreement which dates back to 2002. After 20 years of technological development, and the pandemic in between, I think it is fair to say it's time for an update." Mariniello told Euronews.

EU institutions are currently finalising their own teleworking policies, with the European Commission proposing its employees spend at least two days per week in the office and at least one day working from home. The rest would be dependant on coming to an agreement between workers and bosses.