In our industry, we are natural telecommuters, but telecommuting has been taken to a whole new level under restrictions imposed under COVID-19 by federal, state and local governments as well as safety precautions and corporate policies instituted by the companies we work for. In this new work from home (WFH) environment, COVID-19 has impacted nearly every aspect of our daily lives. Parents have morphed into teachers, juggling child care, workplace issues, Skype, Zoom and MS Teams meetings, struggling to meet productivity goals.
Despite all the positive press about remote work, some studies suggest that it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be. Social isolation, employment uncertainty, burnout, performance anxiety and (of course) the virus itself, have packed enough of a punch to threaten the health and well-being of workers.
According to a study of over 1,000 remote employees by Twingate, remote employment is causing workers to lose a sense of work/life balance during the pandemic. Their findings include:
- 45% of employees reported attending more virtual meetings during the pandemic
- 40% of employees have experienced mental exhaustion from video calls
- 59% of employees felt more cyber secure working in-office compared to at home
- Over 1 in 10 employees had their video calls hacked while working remotely.
On the flip side, many employees are staying productive during the pandemic, while others are by picking up a new skill, taking online courses in higher education or specialized skills. A survey conducted by reflektive.com found that 91% of employees felt supported by their managers during the shift. The importance of employers staying in tune with employee sentiment is the key to boosting morale and maintaining performance during this unprecedented time.
According to wallethub.com, what employees miss most about working in an office are:
- 32% Co-workers
- 27% Nothing
- 21% Getting out of the house
- 12% Routine
- 5% Less Distraction (primarily in households with small children)
- 3% Food (HaHaHaHaHaHa)
Americans have differing views on working from home and how prominent that will be in the future. Almost 60% of Americans think that COVID-19 has changed the way we work for the better. Do you have any advice for the 50% of parents who say they are less productive working from home?
 In a global study conducted by SAP, Qualtrics, and Mind Share Partners, researchers surveyed more than 2,000 employees in March and April of this year in Australia, France, Germany, New Zealand, Singapore, the UK and the United States. They found that the pandemic is impacting mental health around the world. Over 40% of people said their mental health has declined since the COVID-19 outbreak. In that same time period, the number of people who describe the state of their mental health as a 3 or less on a 10-point scale has doubled. Workers report more anxiety and stress.