Working from home (WFH) has recently become the new normal, leaving office buildings empty and employees seeking out new ways to get their jobs done. A survey conducted by SAP Concur investigates remote work and home office expenses across eight European markets including Sweden and Denmark*.
Nordic countries were best prepared to work remotely when lockdowns started
On a Europe-wide level, only 40% of employees felt they were well prepared for working from home prior to the coronavirus outbreak. Among these countries, the Nordic countries were best prepared with Sweden leading with a number of 52.8% of surveyed employees stating they have been well prepared and Spain coming in last with 32.7%.
Employees are confused about what can and can’t be expensed
Even though the Nordic countries were best prepared to replace their regular office desk with the dining room table, only 2 out of 10 had been informed on how to handle remote working expenses. In fact, more than half of the Nordic employees were unsure whether and which expenses they were permitted to submit. Where the Danish employees were most unsure about expenses related to electricity and heating, the Swedish employees were wondering how and when to expense office furniture. Despite these confusions, 73% of employees in all EMEA and 86% in the Nordics felt supported by their employer in setting up their remote office.
Creating a good employee experience at the home office
As evident in the survey, ensuring a good employee experience can proof challenging when our daily routines are dominated by remote work, video calls and a general sense of business uncertainty. When conducting our survey, only a fourth of Nordic employees had been informed on how long they would be spending working from home.
Such blurry forecasts on when to return to the office underpins the importance of considering the “work from home employee experience” on an equal level as the onsite employee experience. In our Nordic WFH infographic, we have collected some effectful initiatives that companies can take. Expense management is a good place to start:
- Provide staff with an accurate WFH expense policy
- Enable the financial department to more easily review and pay expenses based on a list of pre-agreed providers
As head of SAP Concur Nordics, Dan Lillie puts it:
“ There’s a great potential for improving and digitalizing processes, so the businesses not only reduces uncertainty for employees but also improves the daily work and productivity for those finance employees who are dealing with a highly increased amount of expense reports at the moment”.
See how a good employee experience affects business performance in the recent Forrester research or check out the infographic for more insights and advice on handling WFH expenses, expectations and employee experience.
*The survey was conducted by market research institute Innofact, among 6,812 full-time or part-time employees in the following markets: Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The survey took place in May 2020.