As much as the flexibility of remote work helps working parents when we’re not in a pandemic, a recent study shows that it’s actually been damaging to employees’ mental health as a whole.
The study, conducted by the Martec Group, a global market research firm in Detroit, Michigan, surveyed 1,214 employees across various industries, demographics and seniority levels in April 2020 on how working from home was impacting employees’ wellbeing.
The survey found that 84 percent of employees reported their mental health had suffered due to working from home, while only 32 percent of employees reported job satisfaction and 36 percent said they had good job motivation. Further, 42 percent said their stress levels increased while their focus worsened.
Working from home means it can be difficult to leave your job behind when logging off, especially when it occupies the same space as family, and, well, all of your other responsibilities. Without a clear distinction between the office, daycare, school and home, working parents are the ones bearing the brunt of the pandemic’s effects.
If companies are planning on remaining fully remote for the rest of the year—and even into 2021—they’re going to have to figure out a way to help employees through this time of crisis. Whether workers are feeling trapped at home, or miss seeing coworkers in the office, or, for many, struggling with kids at home, it’s up to companies to create a more fulfilling work environment, albeit virtually.
And employers are going to have to act fast. Recent surveys have shown that anywhere from a quarter to a third of working parents will quit their jobs in the coming weeks due to school closures. Combined with the Martec Group’s findings, it’s clear companies will have to put employees first to retain working parents.
Employers, time to step up, create a backup childcare plan for parent employees and approach reopening in a worker-centric way.