More than two thirds of employees homeworking feel their wellbeing has been affected by the changes brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak.
The findings formed part of new research carried out amongst 2,008 workers by TotalJobs which found the wellbeing of 64% had been impacted by the government restrictions. Of those who have been affected, 58% are eating more than usual, 54% say they are less active than before the outbreak, 52% claim their sleep has been affected whilst 45% find they’re uncomfortable in their new workspace.
Two of the causes for wellbeing being affected relate to job security and feeling lonely and isolated, with Millennials twice as worried as Baby Boomers. However, just as fears and anxieties of workers have understandably increased so too has empathy and concern for colleagues. Indeed, during these uncertain times, the study shows that UK workers are banding together to support each other. In fact, 86% say they’re currently concerned for the health and safety of co-workers, almost as much as for themselves (87%).
Remote, not distant
Working from home can increase worry, stress, and loneliness for many people
The study reveals that 81% of people are making more of an effort to reach out to their co-workers, with 44% doing so because they recognise it’s a difficult time and want to show their support. In return, 77% are grateful for the support of colleagues whilst working remotely, with 70% claiming their perception of colleagues has changed in recent weeks.
Employers need to remain mindful about the potential unease among their team
Commenting on the findings, Dr Aaron Balick, an honorary senior lecturer at the Department for Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies at the University of Essex, commented: “Working from home can increase worry, stress, and loneliness for many people. This means that working from home should be more about work, and become another opportunity to seek and provide comradeship and support during challenging times for all of us. Bosses and managers need to be in more intentional contact with their teams, and staff need to be more vocal about their needs and struggles than before.”
Commenting on the results, Lynn Cahillane, Head of Marketing at Totaljobs, says: ‘‘Against the backdrop of a constantly changing environment, employers need to remain mindful about the potential unease among their team, and encourage support and awareness, not only for the sake of staff’s physical welfare – but for any increased mental stress people may be experiencing. Teams should be encouraged to share their worries with line managers, who themselves have an important role to play in ensuring vulnerable employees are supported at this time.”
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