With the COVID-19 pandemic requiring social distancing and lockdown as a potential way to prevent spread, many employers are compelled to offer remote working options for their employee wellness. Although the outdoor movements have been restricted, many are thinking that their travel from the kitchen to the living room in between work is not as bad as it might seem.
CNBC-Change Research Study Revelations
A joint research study by CNBC/Change Research – States of Play poll conducted with almost 5700 employees, revealed that with the recent coronavirus outbreak, almost 42% were working from home, while 58% were still going out to work from their offices.
Of the 42%, 9% were working remotely previously all the time, 14% say they have worked from home previously, but more now, and 19% revealed that they were working from home for the first time.
Even after the normal routines resume, 24% of the respondents say they prefer working remotely for the whole time, while 55% prefer getting back to the workplace. However, 20% were not sure of which option is better for them in the long run.
For all that, remote working might seem comfortable as it saves commuting time, and the employers can save on workplace infrastructure. However, many studies have also reported this long remote working period is affecting employee wellness due to the mental stress and physical strain as they juggle between multiple responsibilities of getting the work assignments completed on time, doing the household chores, and giving time to the kids, pets, and eldercare. Also, from a broader perspective, the lesser use of public transport and companies saving on using commercial rentals for office space, may hit the economy with a loss of millions of dollars.
Income levels and Remote Working Capabilities
The study also revealed that the ability and preference to work from home was different between employees of different working cadres. Just 24% of the employees who earned less than $50,000 annually felt they were better working remotely. While 36% of the people earning $50,000 to $100,000 annually were better working from home, almost 40% of those earning more than $100,000 or more were able to work from home more capably.
Remote Working and Employee Productivity
The States of Play poll revealed that a majority of 60% of the respondents believed that they were either more productive or equally productive while working remotely now, whereas 40% believed that they were less productive at home. This low employee productivity has been clinched due to the extra stress affecting employee health and wellness due to the added responsibilities at the same time.
Saving commuting time was one of the primary reasons why employees preferred working from home, and when asked how they utilized this extra time – 28% said it allowed them to work more and be more productive. While 47% said they got to spend more family time, 33% revealed that found time for their hobbies.
COVID-19 has shifted the global routine in many ways, and the modern world is making changes accordingly in all fields to keep up with the demands. So, the employers who have offered remote working options to their workforce are now considering alternatives for their safety and wellness. However, with the recent study outcomes that working from home has been adversely affecting employee health, employers are also looking for ways to support them with it. Offering employee wellness programs with the right wellness challenges are a great way to ensure employee engagement, productivity, and help them achieve holistic wellness, even during these worrisome times.