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Working from home: Majority supports the new regulation

06/2021, 08.02.2021

According to the BfR-Corona-Monitor, 86 percent of the respondents consider the regulation appropriate

The occupational health and safety regulation regarding the coronavirus has been in effect throughout Germany since the end of January. It requires companies to offer their employees the opportunity to work from home, as far as their work permits. As the results of the 28th edition of the BfR-Corona-Monitor, a regular survey by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), show, the regulation meets with the approval of the majority of the population. "86 percent of the respondents rate this regulation as appropriate," says BfR-President Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel. "This illustrates that people also accept changes in their everyday occupational life in order to contain the coronavirus."

Day-care centres and schools are still closed except for emergency care. However, this measure is judged as appropriate by a decreasing number of respondents: Since the beginning of the year, approval has dropped by 10 percentage points from 67 percent to now 57 percent. A similar development can be seen in the acceptance of the closure of shops: In the current survey, about half of the respondents consider the measure to be appropriate. Shortly before Christmas, this figure was still at 66 percent.

The lockdown, which has been in place since November, is increasingly perceived as a burden. The number of people who are worried about their social relationships rose from 30 percent at the beginning of the year to 40 percent in the current poll and is thus higher than at any other time in the survey. In addition, the proportion of people who think the existing contact restrictions are appropriate fell to 69 percent, which is at a similarly low level as in the early summer of 2020.

However, concern about the effects of the coronavirus on the economic situation and physical health has remained fairly consistent at between 20 and 23 percent in recent weeks. In the current survey, a quarter say they are concerned about their own mental health. The age group of 14 to 39-year-olds is particularly affected: Here, just under half of the respondents are worried about their social relationships and a good third about their mental health. This is considerably less the case in the older age groups.

The BfR continually adapts its FAQs on the topic of coronavirus to the current state of science:

About the BfR-Corona-Monitor

The BfR-Corona-Monitor is a recurring (multi-wave) representative survey of the German population's perception of risks from the novel coronavirus. Every week between 24 March and 26 May 2020, around 500 randomly selected people were asked by telephone about their assessment of the risk of infection and their protective measures, among other things. Since June 2020, the survey is continued every two weeks with about 1,000 respondents each. A summary of the data is regularly published on the homepage of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment. More information about the method and sample can be found in publications about the BfR-Corona-Monitor.

About the BfR

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientifically independent institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in Germany. It advises the German federal government and German federal states ("Laender") on questions of food, chemical and product safety. The BfR conducts its own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.

This text version is a translation of the original German text which is the only legally binding version.



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