GoVox – the cutting-edge online mental health and wellbeing tool – has uncovered new data which demonstrates home working guidelines put in place by their corporate clients have been well received by the majority of employees. The data discovered the minority of negative responses appeared from questions surrounding work/life balance, where it was revealed only 18% felt they have been able to manage a healthy balanced lifestyle amidst an increased level of home working.
As lockdown restrictions begin to ease and businesses take advantage of the flexible furlough scheme and the Chancellor’s job retention bonus, this new data is telling of the future of flexible home working and its place in mental health and wellbeing approaches.
It was found that 48% of the dataset felt they were happy with working remotely, at a distance from their team. From a working perspective, 70% of the dataset also considered that their employer trusted them to ‘get the job done’. Across the group, only 7% revealed they didn’t enjoy their work or feel valued during this time. These reactions reveal that increased home working could be a valuable and supported way of working into the future, despite lockdown restrictions lifting. The data suggests that if more is done to help employees maintain healthy boundaries between work and home, this new way of working could become viable for many.
GoVox collected the data between March and July 2020 throughout the Covid-19 national lockdown from a group of their major corporate clients which use the platform as part of wellbeing programmes.
The platform works by maintaining consistent monitoring of employees’ emotional health and happiness through daily, weekly or monthly well being check ins. Using the check ins as an entry, the platform helps leaders connect more with their teams and proactively pinpoints at-risk individuals through accessing ‘red flags’. 2020 has seen many organisations explore GoVox as a tool to help prioritise wellbeing during this turbulent time.
Commenting on the data, CEO of GoVox, Richard Lucas said: “The data we’ve captured shows how comfortable many are despite working at a distance from team members. Combining this with a nearly unanimous positive view on trust between employer and employee; home working looks like it’s working quite well. If companies are seeing it working why wouldn’t they continue to include it as part of what they can offer their employees? Although it has been identified that home working can cause isolation, and the data has shown that work/life balance can be affected, our view is that it should be considered as a real long term option for some companies who stand to help individuals who require more flexibility.”
Commenting on the implications of homeworking, Sam Norton, senior lecturer in Psychology for King’s College London and adviser to GoVox said: “Remote working has been increasing across many sectors for a number of years since it has numerous benefits for organisations and their employees. However, the sudden change to remote working due to the COVID19 pandemic lockdown in March, alongside other impacts of the pandemic, was very stressful for many people. This is where an approach like the one GoVox takes is important since it provides an opportunity for everyone to communicate with their organisation in a way that means that their voice can be heard, and to receive help if they need it.
“A Nuffield Foundation survey found 4 in 5 people said working from home had negatively impacted on their mental health. For many people, this negative impact is likely to be relatively short-term as they (and their workplaces) adapt to a new way of working and movement restrictions relax. It seems unlikely that many organisations will return to patterns of work that was standard in 2019. There is an opportunity for organisations to make real impacts on the lives of their employees by ensuring that potential benefits can be realised and negative impacts identified and managed.”