If there’s one thing we can all agree on about 2020 and the first part of 2121, it’s that most of us have never spent so much time at home. With bans on travel and going into the office, we’ve had to adapt, and fast. But how has working from home (WFH) affected us? Expert Insolvency Practitioners, Hudson Weir, polled 3,500 employees across the country to find out how well we have taken to it…
The average employee in the UK rates their happiness working from home at 6.6/10. But it appears the real winners are workers in the South East, who sound like they never want to set foot in an office again: they rate their happiness at a weighty 7.1/10. Those who are least happy are in the North East and Northern Ireland (6.2/10).
Broken down by industry, the happiest home-workers are in the IT and tech industries, at 7/10. This is understandable, given that many of them may have been working from home for part of the week in pre-pandemic times. Surprisingly, high-earning lawyers were among the least happy WFH employees at 4.9/10. You would think they can afford a pretty sweet home office set-up, complete with a decent Wifi connection and a printer that actually works. However, it is charity workers who are the unhappiest. Given the economic crisis brought on by the pandemic, many employees in this industry may be bored twiddling their thumbs as donations dry up.
WFH seems to have turned us into serious homebodies. Like, people who almost never actually leave their house. The survey found that the longest employees go without setting foot outside their front door is a slightly concerning 3.6 days in a row. Hey, it’s not prison – you are allowed to do exercise outside! But then the snag when your home is now your office is that you can find it hard to switch off.
Over half of employees (66%) say they put in more hours of work each day when WFH than they do in their physical workplace. And over half (54%) take fewer breaks than they would if they were at the office… Were we all just slacking off before? Or is it maybe that without the distraction of other people we find we can actually get more done? One thing’s for sure, a significant 85% of employees have said they take fewer sick days while WFH (though perhaps that’s because there are fewer viruses floating around). Employers take note!
‘It sounds like productivity and happiness are on the up when people work from home’ says Hasib Howlader from Hudson Weir,’ ‘Perhaps when the worst of the pandemic is over, companies will look at a flexible solution, allowing employees to have the best of both worlds; the convenience of working from home a few days a week, combined with the sociability of being back in the office for the rest of it’