Nearly 70% UK employees 'feel connected' despite remote working, yet stress levels are high

  • Nearly 70% of UK employees feel connected to their colleagues despite working remotely, according to research from CV-writing service TopCV.

    The Covid-19 pandemic has prohibited staff from working together in the office since 23 March, but TopCV’s data said that just 13% of those surveyed reported feeling ‘disconnected’ from colleagues.

    The company surveyed 2116 UK professionals currently working remotely due to social distancing, between 23 March and 29 April.

    Regardless of industry, employees reported similar levels of workplace satisfaction.

    69% of sales and business development workers said they feel connected to their colleagues, followed closely by 68% of accounting and finance employees, 67% of tech professionals and 65% of engineering and construction operatives.

    RELATED: 24 million UK employees could be called back to physical workplaces

    Additionally, TopCV’s survey uncovered that even as the UK faces what it suggested might be “the worst-ever recession”, 22% of UK employees would be willing to decline a job offer if the organisation failed to offer a flexible working policy.

    Amanda Augustine, careers expert at TopCV commented: “Whilst many organisations have offered telecommuting to portions of its staff in the past, this new workplace “norm” – the fully virtual workforce – has incentivised employers to get creative in helping their teams feel connected during self-isolation. Our data shows that these efforts are paying off.”

    Jeff Berger, CEO of TopCV’s parent company, Talent Inc added: “The forced switch to telecommuting has accelerated the technology-fuelled trend towards a more flexible workplace that had been steadily growing.

    “These findings reinforce that remote working is a viable long-term option for companies, which has a positive impact on productivity, employee wellbeing and morale. Employers who deny their staff workplace flexibility may find them choosing to work elsewhere.”

    RELATED: PwC: 76% of NI employees now more productive when working from home

    Twitter is one such tech giant that announced recently it will allow its staff to work from home even after lockdown ends, if they wish to do so. Around 45,000 of Facebook's employees worldwide are expected to also remain remote after the pandemic ends.

    However, another survey from professional networking site LinkedIn found Irish workers were working an extra 38 hours a month - the equivalent of an extra week's work - with more than half finding that remote working arrangements have made them feel stressed out.

    The Irish Times reported that the most affected age group was the under-34s, with 70% of respondents under-24 reporting they felt stressed or anxious and more than 63% of 25-34-year-olds experiencing increased anxiety levels.

    Overall, 21% of all LinkedIn's Irish survey respondents said they feel lonely and isolated.

    TopCV's Augustine suggested checking in regularly with your colleagues, sharing moments from your life such as photos or videos, and taking mental breaks or having fun virtual happy hours to help feel more connected with your colleagues whilst working from home.  

    RELATED: 79% UK employees willing to give employers 'sensitive medical data' for COVID-19 testing upon return to work

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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