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“The underachievers have come out in the home office”: why this midsize company boss doesn’t think much about working from home

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Two years into the pandemic, working from home has become the norm, with companies increasingly advertising that employees can easily do their jobs from home permanently, also to retain young talent. However, some employers remain critical of the turnaround and have not had good experiences with employee lounges turning into offices.

One of them is Stefan Wüst, owner of the medium-sized company Wüst Ingenieure. In an interview with “Zeit”, he says that “employee leadership and guidance work best on the site personally.” The first lockdown and working from home would have brought to light the “underperformers at your company who could still swim somewhere in the team, but whose performance at home was practically zero”.

Some employees are still not available at 10 am and “maybe they’ve drawn three lines all day. They achieved in a week what our intern managed to do on the first day and equated home office with vacation.” Once he even saw one of the apprentices crossing the market square with a stroller at eleven o’clock. “It makes you think,” he says the entrepreneur

He hardly ever works from home himself, the only exception was his quarantine when he contracted Corona. Consequently, he thinks little of the Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil’s (SPD) idea of ​​giving employees the legal right to work from home. “This decision should be left up to the companies.” If the law were to go into effect, “it would surely need 50 percent more people because efficiency would suffer.” Wüst was contradicted in a dispute with the “Zeit” by Xing’s boss, Petra von Strombeck, and Lisa Pollmann, a human resources partner at TUI, who often works from abroad as a digital nomad.

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