Survey Addresses Work From Home Fatigue
A wave of WFH fatigue has hit the UK according to a survey for Mitie by OnePoll, although its findings suggests many employees remain concerned their offices aren’t Covid-secure.
The survey of 5,000 employees who have been working from home during the pandemic was undertaken this month, and reveals that although the typical employee wishes to go to their office between two and three days a week, three fifths (60 per cent) believe their employer needs to improve the office environment to prevent staff becoming ill in future.
When asked what measures would make employees feel more confident in returning to the workplace, hand sanitiser at every desk, toilets cleaned more frequently, better HVAC systems, and more space between workstations were top of the list. Office workers are also keen to see their employers invest in the latest technology to ensure their workplaces are safe – with systems using ultraviolet light to kill germs, for example to clean air and surfaces, thermal imaging technology which can detect when people have a raised temperature and desk booking apps all featuring on their wish lists.
The research also highlights how important good office facilities are in order for employees to feel happy to return to workplaces and attracting top talent to the business. Four-fifths (81 per cent) of respondents say they wouldn’t want to work for a company that had poor office facilities, compared to more than three quarters (79 per cent) who would be attracted to an employer who has invested in technology to ensure a safe return to their workplace.
Two-fifths of office workers (43 per cent) admitted to suffering from ‘Work from Home fatigue’, with over a third (35 per cent) of the survey sample believing their career have been impacted negatively by working from home – a figure which rose to almost half (47 per cent) amongst those aged 18 to 34. Meanwhile more than half (55 per cent) believe team collaboration and creativity has been hampered by working from home.
The study shows that balance is key when it comes to where colleagues want to work. Nearly nine in ten (87 per cent) respondents want a flexible working pattern which allows them to work from home or the office depending on the task, while three quarters (74 per cent) wouldn’t work for a company that didn’t allow them to work flexibly.
Top hygiene measures office workers want to see include toilets being cleaned more frequently, the implementation of more effective cleaning regimes more generally, increased cleaning of touch points including bannisters and door handles, and more widespread implementaion of ultraviolet (UV) light disinfection technology.
Physical and mechanical improvements to workplaces mentioned by the survey sample included upgrading ventilation systems, changes to spaces between workstations, the implementation of one-way systems, and the adoption of desk booking apps and systems.
Daniel Guest, Mitie’s Chief Operating Officer for Technical Services, comments: “Whilst working from home has been a success for many it’s clear that people are ready to return to the office, but employees need to be reassured that their workplace is clean and safe.
“It is important that businesses listen to their colleagues’ concerns and ensure the workplace is a safe environment ready for their return. This can include small gestures like hand sanitiser on desks and free masks, but also investing in technology like systems that use ultraviolet light to kill germs or thermal imaging cameras to detect when people have a raised temperature will go a long way to ensuring colleagues are confident with coming back to the office.”