Germany: what lessons has the current situation been teaching the nation’s human resource managers?

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis, the massive deployment of telework has turned the corporate arena into a huge laboratory that is trying out new ways of working and the work of the future. So what impact does telework have on employee productivity levels? Does the office still have a future? What lessons are HR managers drawing from the crisis in terms of work organisation and indeed how has their work also evolved? The German Association for Human Resources Management (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Personalführung-DGFP) together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering-IAO have conducted several surveys since the beginning of the crisis in order to try and answer these questions. In conversation with Planet Labor, Kai Helfritz, DGFP’s head of membership and cooperation, describes the main lessons German HR managers have learned; many observations of which are similar to those in neighbouring countries.

Through . Published on 09 February 2021 à 12h16 - Update on 09 February 2021 à 12h16
  • How does the Covid-19 pandemic impact the way companies work in Germany?

Kai Helfritz We tried very early on to answer this question, not least because in the space of just one day, Germany, just like its neighbors, had become a huge testing ground. While all employees had been called on to work from home, few companies had any real experience with this arrangement. Together with the Frauenhofer Institute-IAO, in May 2020 we conducted a major survey of our HR professionals entitled ‘Working in the coronavirus age – towards the new normal’ (here in German). Our survey was an immediate success and we received more than 900 responses, meaning the results are indeed representative.

  • What questions in particular did you ask HR managers?

KH. We asked them how they had implemented teleworking arrangements,…

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