Swiss work habits: home office and more flexibility

Home office: not only growing during the corona crisis. Keystone / Erik S. Lesser

Statistics for 2019 show that working from home has already become a common practice in Switzerland, while flexible working hours are also on the rise.

Keystone-SDA/dos

Home office was practiced by 33.7% of workers in Switzerland last year – 5% all the time, 14% regularly, and 15% occasionally.

The sectors most concerned were teaching and information and communication, with over 60% of employees from these areas working from home at least once over the year.

Various other shifts in Swiss workplace habits were also recorded, compared to the situation a decade ago, reported the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) on Friday.

Flexible working hours – i.e. the ability to determine when you start and end your day – were on the up: 46.2% enjoyed the luxury, a rise of 5.3% from 2010. The finance and insurance and information and communication sectors were most flexible, while the hotel-restaurant, health and social services, and construction sectors were least flexible.

Social hours

Weekend working, meanwhile, is becoming less common. Almost one-fifth of Swiss workers regularly worked Saturdays in 2019, one-tenth Sundays – a drop of 3.6 and 1.5 percentage points respectively. Agriculture, forestry, and the hospitality sectors were most weekend-intensive.

Other ‘unsociable’ hours were also slightly less common than before, with 16.5% regularly working between 7pm and midnight, and 4.6% working night shifts. Women were slightly over-represented in the former, men in the latter.

As for types of contract, 7.7% of workers had a fixed-term contract in 2019, a percentage point higher than in 2010. Here, the youngest and oldest workers were mainly concerned, as they also were when it came to working weekends and non-family-friendly hours, and in jobs demanding on-call hours.

As for the figures for how work practices have shifted since the onset of the coronavirus, the FSO says that it will publish in September the statistics for the first half of 2020.


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