86% of employees working from home due to COVID-19 say the arrangement is having a negative impact on their health, reveals poll

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5th May 2020 15:13 - Health

86% of  employees working from home due to COVID-19 say the arrangement is having a negative impact on their health: A survey to find out more about the impact that working from home during lockdown is having on our health has found that the majority of respondents feel it is is having a negative effect.

The survey, a joint collaboration between LinkedIn and The Mental Health Foundation, polled 2,000 UK adults and found that employees who are now working from home are clocking up an additional 28 hours of work per month at their desks - which, says the charity, could lead to many employees experiencing burnout.

Asked about how their current working situation is impacting their lives, 56% reported that they were experiencing increased levels of anxiety and stress, while 31% said that their sleep is being disturbed. Around a quarter (24%) said that they are ‘struggling’ with their mental health.

Reasons given for employees working additional hours and experiencing symptoms of burnout included workloads increasing, having additional responsibilities or work to do because of colleagues being furloughed or off due to illness, as well as the strain of juggling their role alongside childcare or homeschooling their children. 

Employees trying to prove their worth

The survey also revealed the worry employees are experiencing due to the financial uncertainty brought about by the pandemic, with almost half (47%) admitting they were trying to appear busy to their managers because they fear for their job security. The desire to perform well and demonstrate their value has also meant a quarter of staff feel pressure to respond to requests more quickly than usual - as well as stay online after their working day finishes to show willingness. Almost a fifth (18%) said they are still working after 12 hours at work or more, with one in 10 (11%) revealing they feel pressure to log on in the morning before 7am. 

“We cannot have the same business as usual expectations on ourselves or of our employees ," Chris O'Sullivan of The Mental Health Foundation told the Metro newspaper. "There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to work full time, look after children at home and keep up our other responsibilities," he said.

Positive impact of home working 

The survey also highlighted the positive elements working from home is offering employees, with more than two-fifths (44%) saying it has brought them closer together as a family. More than half (54%) the respondents polled said that when lockdown measures are lifted and life returns to 'normal' they would like their employer to consider the possibility of working from home more frequently.



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