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New research suggests negative impact of home working during pandemic

Working from home during the pandemic has led to increased levels of loneliness and mental distress, according to new research by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen). The biggest increases in mental distress and loneliness compared with pre-pandemic levels were felt by the most isolated group – those working from home and living alone.

Perhaps surprisingly, people working from home and living with others also experienced a significant increase in loneliness not felt by those working outside the home.

The research highlights that people able to work from home during the pandemic have been protected from financial difficulties which are, themselves, a strong predictor of poor mental health.

However even when financial circumstances, loneliness and demographic characteristics were controlled for in the research, people working from home recorded bigger increases in mental distress than those who were working outside the home.

Isabel Taylor, Research Director at the National Centre for Social Research, said:

“Our research suggests working from home arrangements have negatively impacted some workers’ mental health. More of us than ever now work from home and use technology to replace many aspects of work previously done in person, but this cannot fully replicate the working environment for everyone.

“As the government considers current working guidance, individuals, employers and government departments should be aware of the impact working from home is likely having on people’s mental health.”

NatCen analysed data from interviews carried out with 8,675 people before the pandemic and in May, July and November 2020 for the Understanding Society COVID-19 survey.

FMJ and Grundon Waste Management have launched the 2021 waste and recycling management survey. It’s the fourth year for the annual appraisal of how FMs manage their waste and recycling activities and one which marks an unprecedented period of disruption to services due to the pandemic.

In order to understand how FMs have navigated their way through the last year and their plans for meeting stringent waste and recycling targets we’ve posed a series of questions – aided by the advice and experience of our editorial steering committee.

The results of the 2021 survey will be published in FMJ magazine and form the basis of a white paper co-written by FMJ and the experts at Grundon on how to approach waste and recycling strategies.

To take part in the survey click here.

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