25 May 2021

Steiner Office Barometer: Switzerland loves working from home

91% want to work from home and also have a centrally located workplace 
After compulsory home-working, back to the office or better to stay home after all? Ideally? Both! These are the results of the Steiner Office Barometer, a broad-based study. Nine out of ten of those surveyed for whom working from home would be theoretically possible are keen to carry on doing so in future. However, many of us want a partial return to the office – and preferably to offices which are centrally located and offer an allocated workspace.
With COVID case numbers falling, the Federal Council could soon be reversing its rule on compulsory home-working. Grounds for rejoicing, or an annoyance? As revealed by Steiner’s study of over 1,000 working people in the German- and French-speaking regions of Switzerland, nine out of ten of those surveyed who are currently working from home, or at least would be theoretically able to do so, are in favour of this arrangement. However, many are missing the social contacts offered by the office. 
Bosses discover the advantages of home-working
One striking feature here is that 39% of those surveyed already had the option to work from home even before it became compulsory. At 48%, there are currently only marginally more home workers – with a maximum potential of 56%. Generally speaking, more city-based employees or those working for large corporations are working from home than their rural and SME counterparts. In particular, employees with a managerial function (51%) or in executive management posts (61%) are currently working from home, and clearly appreciating the advantages. Before the pandemic, the figures were just under 42% and 37% respectively. 
As younger people in particular are keen to work more from home, offering this option could give employers an edge in terms of future recruitment. Of those surveyed who would be able to work from home, two thirds (65%) are working for employers in cities. Four out of five (81%) are working for employers with their own office premises. 
Employees want the best of both worlds
Home-working is certainly a highly desirable option. Nevertheless, many of those surveyed do not want to do without a fixed office workplace. Today, two thirds of respondents have one. A centrally located workplace remains important for the majority of respondents, even if they do not commute every day. Many employees want the best of both worlds: the freedom of working from home, but still with the familiar environment in the office. 
What does this mean for the construction of new residential and office property, in both cities and the country? Central, urban workplaces will continue to be sought-after, while offices in peripheral locations are likely to be less in demand. Planners will need to deliver still more creative solutions in future. But thanks to the acceptance of home-working, peripheral residential areas could also become more attractive.
Steiner already planning for home-working
Steiner takes into account social trends when developing real estate projects, and is responding to the social challenges of the future with innovative building solutions and housing types. “In residential construction we are taking into account the desire for an extra room for home-working. That’s why our wide-ranging development pipeline features a particularly large number of 4.5 and 5.5 room apartments”, says Michael Schiltknecht, Head of Real Estate for Steiner AG. 
Schiltknecht is confident that Steiner is already offering solutions and tailored responses that anticipate future needs in the office and commercial sector as well: “We have developed the sustainable and multidimensional “Manufakt” concept, which, in addition to modular designs, offers shared and available-as-needed meeting rooms, flex offices and interaction zones.”
Representative study with 1,000 respondents
The study was carried out on behalf of Steiner AG from 7 to 13 April 2021 by Marketagent.com Schweiz AG. It is based on over 1,000 online interviews with working active web users from Switzerland aged between 18 and 75 and consisted of 27 questions.
The results of the study can be found here.

Steiner AG

Steiner AG, one of the leading project developers and general/total contractors (GC/TC) in Switzerland, offers comprehensive services in the fields of new construction, refurbishment and real estate development. The company, which was established in 1915, has constructed more than 1,500 residential projects, 540 commercial properties, 45 hotels and 200 infrastructure facilities such as universities, schools, hospitals, retirement homes and prisons. Steiner AG has its headquarters in Zurich and is represented by branches in Basel, Bern, Geneva, Tolochenaz and Lucerne.
Information for the media
Steiner AG, Corporate Communications
Tel.: +41 58 445 20 00, corpcom@steiner.ch 
Media release as PDF 
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