Insights from Leesman’s ongoing home working study of more than 145,000 workers has revealed over a third of home workers (35 per cent) feel disconnected to their organisation when working from home and a further 31 per cent feel disconnected to their colleagues,.
The independent assessor of employee experience launched the largest exploration into employees’ home working experience in March 2020. Now, as the UK re-enters lockdown, Leesman’s insights tool has revealed that there are significant pressure points around social connectivity and an employees’ ability to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Alarmingly, just 56 per cent of home workers report that their home environment supports ‘informal social interaction’. ‘Learning from others’ is also waning, with more than a third (34 per cent) reporting that this activity is not supported and a further 29 per cent claiming that they are unable to collaborate on creative work when working from home.
Leesman’s research has also revealed that employees who do more activities at work need the variety of space that an office provides. The data demonstrates that the more complex an employee’s activity profile, the more likely they are to express frustration with the one-dimensional nature of the home environment.
That home workers have a far less favourable view of learning from others, social interaction and variety of work settings than office-based employees do, is evidence says Leesman that the office is a place of community and friendship in a way the home could never be, despite all the best video, collaboration and social technologies.
Tim Oldman, Leesman CEO, said: “As people brace themselves for a second national lockdown, organisations need to beware of sentiment drift. Wellbeing and mental health will clearly have a greater impact on people’s attitudes towards home working over the coming months. Just as employers are adjusting office spaces and working styles to adapt to the challenges posed by the pandemic, they also need to make adjustments to help people with their mental health. Without the journey to and from a workplace, for example, people are finding it difficult to switch off when the workday has finished.
“Those who had slowly begun to return to the office in the summer will expect their organisations to have learned from the first few months of lockdown to ensure they have what they need to improve the home working experience while social distancing measures continue. Now they’ve been sent home, they’ll also be expecting their employers to take the opportunity to make meaningful changes to the office environment that reflect their newly learned workstyle. Inaction from employers now would be hugely harmful.”