New research has revealed that feeling disconnected from colleagues and working while feeling unwell are some of the biggest challenges facing UK remote workers today.
The pandemic prompted – or forced – many more businesses to adopt a remote workforce model. New Aviva research shows that in this time, employees have reverted to a ‘survival mode’, re-adjusting their values, goals, and behaviours, consequentially throwing many businesses into disarray as ’employee drift’ becomes commonplace.
Key report findings;
- Nearly half (44%) of employees feel disconnected from their colleagues.
- 84% of employees have taken zero sick days over a three-month period
- More than half of employees (52%) agree the boundaries between work and home life are becoming increasingly blurred, up 12% since February.
- Almost a quarter (24%) are troubled by work interfering with their home and personal life.
- Just 15% of employees agree that their employer is trying really hard to understand what motivates them and less than half (42%) believe their goals and objectives are clear, leading to ‘employee drift’.
- Two of the biggest issues facing employers are mental health issues and presenteeism.
Working life and wellbeing in the ‘new normal’
Heightened uncertainty coupled with a tougher economic climate continues to impact employee mental health. 49% of the UK workforce is now working from home and whilst 53% prefer it over going into the office, 1 in 3 are neglecting their own mental health because of being too busy with work.
The research also finds employees are feeling more disillusioned with life and lacking an immediate sense of direction with their jobs. In August, only around one quarter (27%) agreed that they ‘really enjoy’ their work (vs. 34% in February). 43% ranked their mental health between ‘very bad’ and ‘fair’ (vs. 38% in February). Staggeringly, 84% had taken zero sick days over a three-month period.
Shifting employee-employer relationships
In this newfound ‘Age of Ambiguity’, the studies show that employees are increasingly ‘plodding’ through. They seek work-life balance, clear career progression and help with financial wellbeing and retirement planning. Failure to tune in to these needs and adopt a personalised approach will mean sacrificing productivity and losing valuable ground to competitors.
- Create a sense of purpose, clarity and autonomy in the workplace.
- Prepare workers for fuller working lives and the transition from work to retirement.
- Create more targeted interventions by understanding personality types.