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WORKING IN DENMARK

Twice as many people work from home in Denmark since pandemic

The number of people working from home in Denmark has doubled since the coronavirus pandemic, according to research from the Danish Chamber of Commerce.

Twice as many people work from home in Denmark since pandemic
The number of people working from home in Denmark has doubled since the start of the pandemic. Photo by Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

The Danish Chamber of Commerce said that in an average company, 16 percent of working hours were now completed at home, as opposed to 8 percent before the pandemic. 

“I think that both managers and employees have found that it works. It provides flexibility for employees –  both in terms of transport time, work-life balance, and the way we work if we want to immerse ourselves in a task,” Pernille Taarup, chief consultant within HR and management at the Danish Chamber of Commerce, said.

“Corona forced many of us to stay at home. And it turned out that productivity was just as high at home as when you were at work, and that employees were happy to work at home part of the time”, Taarup added.

The survey was sent to members of the Danish Chamber of Commerce, which represents 18,000 member companies and more than 100 industry associations. 

The results showed that two out of three companies offer a work from home option to employees. On average, employees choose to work from home twice a week.

According to the analysis, working from home is more widespread in larger companies than in small ones, especially in the IT and telecommunications and consulting industries.

In the IT and telecommunications industry, 43 percent of working hours are completed at home. In the consulting industry, it is 24 percent.

Most of the companies that do not offer working from home options, explain that it is because the tasks can only be carried out physically in the company building.

According to Taarup, it is difficult to predict whether the number of people working from home will increase even more.

“Many companies are in the process of finding out what works for them and what the balance should be”, she said.

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WORKING IN DENMARK

Danish businesses repeat call for foreign workers amid labour shortage

Local authorities and a major business interest organisation have urged Denmark’s government to address a labour shortage.

Danish businesses repeat call for foreign workers amid labour shortage

Unmet demand for labour in both private businesses and the public sector has reached a crisis point, according to an appeal to the government to reach a broader labour agreement. 

Parliament must renew its efforts to find a new national compromise which will secure more labour, the National Association of Municipalities (Kommunernes Landsforening, KL) and the Confederation of Danish Industry (Dansk Industri, DI) said according to financial media Finans.

“The parties [in parliament] must be honest with voters and start a completely different and strict prioritisation of what the public sector can offer people,” mayor and KL chairperson Martin Damm told news wire Ritzau.

“Otherwise, the parties must find the labour needed for private companies to provide growth and wellbeing, and for us at municipalities to have the staff and economy to deliver the services people expect,” he said.

The municipalities will need 44,000 additional employees by 2030 due to increasing numbers of children and elderly in the population, according to KL.

Short the lack of labour persist, municipal governments could be forced to reduce the priority of services such as cleaning for elderly residents, according to Damm.

Danish businesses are finding it harder than ever to recruit staff and could hire 38,000 new workers immediately if they were available, according to DI, which represents the interests of about 19,000 Danish companies. 

Lars Sandahl Sørensen, managing director of DI, firmly believes the answer to the labour shortage lies outside Danish borders. 

“We will need many more foreigners,” Sørensen told Finans.

“It is not about getting cheap labour, but about getting people at all. We are in a situation where we do not have employees to carry out the things on green conversion that we have already decided to do, and that we would like to do on health and welfare,” he said.

Employment minister Peter Hummelgaard told Finans that the government agreed a deal on international recruitment shortly before the summer break.

READ MORE: How can you get a work permit in Denmark if you aren’t an EU national? 

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