New research has highlighted a range of tensions between work colleagues that could create challenges for employers as people return to the workplace.
A 1,500-person study undertaken by Westfield Health sought to ascertain how COVID-19 has reshaped people’s attitudes and expectations of work. The findings, documented in the report Divided Together, reveal a complex patchwork of emotions that vary depending on people’s personal experiences of the pandemic.
In particular, a degree of mistrust was uncovered between furloughed employees, people working from home and those going into work. For instance, 35% of homeworkers felt furloughed colleagues had less to worry about, even though 56% of furloughed workers actually reported heightened anxiety feelings.
The study also found that 51% of homeworkers believe colleagues are doing less than they say, while 46% think parents use their children as an excuse to do less work. A sense of the ‘grass being greener’ was also unearthed, with 38% of those going into work and 36% of those working from home wishing they were doing the opposite.
Looking forward, businesses will clearly need to be sensitive to different employee experiences during the pandemic and focus on bridging any workplace divides in order to ensure a harmonious and productive workforce.
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