Worrying statistics from Allianz Partners reveal that while working from home has been a constructive and necessary change during the global pandemic, it also left employees feeling disconnected from and unsupported by their workplace, as well as challenging their physical and mental health and productivity.
A total of 75 per cent of respondents in the Allianz report insisted that, yes, they would want to work from home more post-pandemic, with 69 per cent wanting to work from home over three days of the working week, but 61 per cent have not had a positive conversation with their manager about their mental health during lockdown.
Employees don’t feel sufficiently supported by the employers
Key findings from Allianz Partners’ report – which surveyed 1,000 full-time employees working from home in the UK, Canada, France, Singapore and the UAE, due to government restrictions imposed during Covid-19 – include:
- 36 per cent of employees were concerned about the long-term effects on their mental health
- 46 per cent felt isolated working from home during Covid-19
- Over 50 per cent reported new aches and pains since lockdown
- Only 58 per cent of respondents in France working from home during Covid-19 felt sufficiently supported by their employer with regards to their mental health, compared to over three quarters (77 per cent) in the UAE
- 67 per cent of respondents feel they are just as productive working from home
- 58 per cent felt they have struggled to do at least part of their job remotely
“The contrasting findings among countries, age groups and family circumstances demonstrate just how varied the impacts of Covid-19 have been on employees and workplaces,” commented Ida Luka-Lognoné, CEO International Health & Travel at Allianz Partners. “Addressing this effectively requires tailored solutions rather than a blanket policy, one-size-fits-all approach. And that means continuous, meaningful engagement with diverse stakeholders in all workplaces around work culture, as well as the design, implementation and management of new practices.”
Employers should adapt their offerings to help cater to employees’ needs
Seeing as working from home looks to be the norm for a while, employers need to cater to meet their employees mental and physical health needs, whether that be providing guidance and rules around working from home (77 per cent of respondents sad that they didn’t feel this was adequately provided) or enhancing their employee assistance offering.
Allianz Partners explained that all existing support processes around mental and physical wellbeing should be made available remotely to ensure people can get the help they need from home – and that there should be a review about whether there are any gaps in the type of support needed.
“By putting employees’ mental and physical wellbeing at the heart of any digital transformation, business leaders can access a range of commercial benefits while improving staff satisfaction,” said Jonathan Birdwell, EMEA Head of Public Policy and Thought Leadership at the Economist Intelligence Unit. “In a post-Covid-19 world, or one where the virus remains part of our lives, this employee-centric approach will be essential for helping businesses attract, retain and get the most out of their workforce.”