A lot of people who’ve been working from home since the coronavirus pandemic have grown to like it, but not everyone.
Research firm The Martec Group surveyed 1,214 employees at U.S. companies across the country, and found people who work from home fall into four categories:
- 16% are “thriving;”
- 25% are “hopeful;”
- 27% are “discouraged;”
- 32% feel “trapped.”
Those trapped are most likely to say their mental health has been negatively impacted while working from home, and are starting to hate their jobs.
“They feel everything from frustration to anxiety and stress. They are frustrated with technology and their ability to communicate. They are distracted by everything that’s going on around them. They are anxious about life and about COVID. And just the uncertainty is very stressful for them,” said Jim Durkin, partner and president at The Martec Group.
They are the ones most likely to miss the structure and socialization of their work setting, Durkin said.
Unfortunately, some work for firms that are maintaining mandatory work-from-home orders for now. Some companies are postponing the return to the office until next spring.
On the flip side, some companies are now mandating employees return to the office, and Martec believes a better approach may be breaking employees into personality segments to judge what is best for them.
One approach is for managers to reach out to every individual employee and ask each how he feels about returning or remaining at home.
“There are ways you can ask the question to understand what they are saying , but get a little bit below the surface. Because some employees may be answering the questions based on what they think their employer wants to hear,” Durkin said.
“There are ways to approach this issue to make sure they understand that ‘We’re not grading people. We’re just trying to find out how you feel and where you sit.’”
Of note, the detailed study of employee attitudes was conducted this spring, meaning attitudes about work from home may have shifted even further.
Those who responded to the survey came from various industries, demographics and seniority levels.
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