How Do People REALLY Feel About Working From Home?  

The Covid-19 pandemic has triggered some of the world’s largest working from home experiments over the past couple of years. But what impact has all this home working had on our collective mental health?

It’s a question that the team at All Things Hair set out to answer recently, with 52.36% of survey respondents reporting that working remotely has a positive effect on their overall wellbeing. Conversely, 21.00% of people report that remote working has a negative effect on their wellbeing (while 26.64% report feeling the same whether working remotely or not).

Diving into the detai

Of course, headline figures of this nature often have a range of nuanced detail behind them – and it is these underlying figures that provide an interesting picture of how we REALLY feel about working from home after the past couple of years.

In terms of daily routine, for example, 43.64% of people report that working remotely has had a positive effect. So, despite all the discussion around the advantages of cutting out the commute, it seems that fewer people feel positive about the impact of home working on their daily routine than on their overall wellbeing. Equally, more people report feeling negative about the impact on their daily routine than on their overall wellbeing, at 31.18% and 21.00% respectively. This perhaps hints at the increased difficulties that come with separating work and leisure time when both take place within the same four walls.

Working harder

One particularly interesting figure is that 57.36% of people report that their workload has increased since working remotely. Of course, as a standalone figure, this doesn’t shed any light on how people feel about their heavier workload. However, the fact that 41.09% of people report feeling higher levels of anxiety while working remotely (versus just 20.09% who feel lower levels of anxiety), is certainly telling.

Perhaps most worrying is that 50.82% of people report having experienced burnout as a result of working remotely during the past year. We are collectively feeling the intense pressure that the pandemic has placed on us through changed working practices.

New ways of working

It is good news, then, that companies are starting to take action to better protect their people. Companies on both sides of the Atlantic are experimenting with paid vacation time, with an increasing number opting for measures such as the entire company taking a month off. The idea is to give workers a real chance to reset – not just a long weekend here and there but some proper paid down time, in addition to their usual annual leave allowance

Other companies are experimenting with four-day work weeks, with many reporting that staff not only feel happier as a result of the measure but are also proving to be more productive.

Different approaches will work better or worse for different businesses, of course. What is clear, however, is that companies need to step up to ensure the long-term mental wellbeing of their people, as we learn to live with the ongoing impact of the pandemic on our professional and personal lives.