Businesses ‘Out of Touch’ With Employees Working From Home, Peakon Reveals

Nearly one in five employees globally criticise their employer’s approach to productivity during the Covid-19 pandemic

Peakon, an employee success platform, released a new report, How Employees and Organisations are Responding to COVID-19, which reveals that 19% of the global workforce feel their productivity and workload is being misunderstood by their employers.

Peakon’s data, collected over March and April, comprises nearly 500,000* survey responses from employees worldwide. It reveals that employees are most concerned about their productivity and workload being misunderstood by their employers. Globally, nearly one in five (19%) is critical of their employer’s approach to productivity during the crisis.

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Respondents noted pressure to work harder and longer hours. An analysis of the comments made by employees found that ‘hours’ and ‘pressure’ were among the top five most commonly used words.

While employees appear to approve of measures taken by their employers to protect their physical health during the pandemic, many are still looking for greater understanding and support around their mental health. Of the employees who criticise their employer’s response to productivity, 12% explicitly mention health and mental health issues – commonly using words like ‘stress’, ‘anxiety’ and ‘pressure’.

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Respondents spoke of companies being ‘out of touch’ with the stress and anxiety employees are currently feeling as they attempt to work during a crisis. Others were keen for their employers to understand that – far from being a prolonged vacation – this extended period of working from home represents a violent change, impacting many parts of their lives.

Terms like ‘pulling weight’ and not ‘slacking’ also occur frequently in the employee comments. This suggests a lack of trust among some managers, and employees feeling they need to demonstrate how much they are working.

Nearly one in ten (8%) critical respondents raised concerns linked to family obligations and their position as primary caregivers. A desire for more flexible hours to help support childcare and homeschooling was noted, along with a need for managers to better understand individual situations.

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