As COVID rages on, the US worker’s mental health has emerged as a central issue for companies, especially as the virus continues to upend plans for any return to “normalcy” and anxiety among employees increases. Now, new third-party data from Prodoscore, the leader in employee visibility and productivity intelligence software, confirms remote work’s positive impact on mental health, along with job productivity and satisfaction.
“While productivity has increased overall with the shift to a WFH model, not every one of your employees is going to be able to manage the change with equal skill”
Working From Home Promotes Well-Being
More than a quarter (31.5%) of respondents are working from home full-time. An overwhelming majority (82.3%) are happier working remotely vs. having to work on-site in an office.
The reason? Many employees are feeling mentally and physically healthier since they began working remotely and are empowered by the flexible work schedule it affords.
- More than a third (36.7%) of Americans say their mental health has been impacted positively since working from home with 30.2% able to see friends and family more, a proven antidote to relieve stress and anxiety and promote well-being
- 43.8% of respondents say their physical health has improved, with 39.5% reporting they now have time to workout
Earlier Prodoscore surveys demonstrated that remote workers are also more productive and satisfied with their jobs.
Employee Morale is a Top Concern For All Employees
Ensuring employees feel valued is good for retention, mental health, morale and company culture. Whether your employee is working from home, hybrid, or in office, communication and visibility are key to safeguarding the feeling of being valued. Conversely, when employees feel invisible and not heard, this contributes to their not feeling valued – as well as a bump in stress and anxiety. Fostering that feeling of being valued can be more challenging with a remote workforce and the often inherent lack of day-to-day contact.
More than a quarter of survey respondents (27.4%) acknowledge that feeling valued contributes to their being happy at work.
Ongoing communication between leadership and the workforce, managers and their teams, and even between colleagues is vital to a happy and productive workforce – especially in a hybrid workplace. However, consistent communication is still absent in many organizations. Lack of communication can feed into an employee’s feeling of free-floating anxiety about the future.
- Prodoscore’s survey reveals that more than a third of respondents (36.8%) are confused about what the future of work looks like for them
- 47.7% say their confusion about the future of their work comes from lack of communication; 41.4% say their confusion is the result of being unsure how long WFH will last
Remote Work’s Impact on Our Daily Routines
Daily routines have changed with the shift to working from home, with many employees taking advantage of the flexibility WFH allows. Some behaviors may signal a red flag for employers – such as those employees who are working more than the traditional 40-hour workweek (29.9%) and those who are binge watching TV while working (22.0%). Both present challenges for employers. Two positive benefits noted are the 39.5% working out more, and the 30.2% seeing family and friends more often – both of which are important to promoting mental health.
Additional activities employees partake in include:
- 51.2% say they take care of household chores when necessary now that they’re working from home
- 35.4% say they no longer order out for lunch everyday
- 30.3% say they shower in the middle of the day
- 22.5% listen to podcasts while working
Remote workers look to alleviate stress in a variety of ways, from listening to music (48.1%) to going for a walk (39.7%), to scrolling through social media (34.5% ) or taking a nap (26.8%). Mid-day workouts are popular with 17.5% of respondents, while 18.1% report they don’t have stress while working from home.
“While productivity has increased overall with the shift to a WFH model, not every one of your employees is going to be able to manage the change with equal skill,” acknowledges David Powell, Prodoscore President. “This is another instance where insights generated from productivity intelligence software data is critical. While throwing a load of laundry in the washing machine is completely acceptable, you don’t want your employees to spend four hours during the workday cleaning their house. On the other hand, you don’t want your employees to work 10-12 hours on a daily basis and ignore their family and friends and good health. It’s all about balance – and having the right data can help managers ensure that their teams are working productively, and also just as importantly not ignoring their mental or physical well-being.”
In fall 2021, Prodoscore and Propeller Insights polled more than 1,000 U.S. adults working full time across demographics about working from home, the status of their mental health, and how their daily routine has changed.
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