People, health and well-being are key in the new work environment | Productivity

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Together with Statista Q, NFON produced the Well-Being and Working from Home 22 survey, which examines the many stressors and disorders associated with working from home, ambitions to change jobs and trends towards self-medication. According to Christian Montag, professor of molecular psychology and director of the study, “The results paint a somewhat alarming picture of working from home. In psychology, we know that new work environments, as well as new work circumstances, can cause stress. The Well-being and Working from Home 22 report shows that we have to face a new reality: looking after the well-being and life satisfaction of people who work from home must be at the center of attention. The home office becomes a new home, it needs constant attention and care, so that the new working model in Europe does not have to go to therapy”.

Changes imposed by the new model

When asked what has changed since working from home, 28% of respondents in European countries say that the amount of work to be done has increased, and for 25.2%, working hours have also increased. At the same time, 36% said they achieved a better work-life balance and more time with family and friends. This is what Christian Montag calls the paradox of working from home: “People can work more and have more free time. The elimination of long commutes and generally more flexible working hours during the day can mean that if the organization is good, more time is available. Personalized work schedules, digital literacy and other well-being factors may also be a factor.”

Stress has many causes. Among others, eating at home (8.7%), poor internet connection (17.2%) and constant accessibility (19.7%) were cited as stressors. On the other hand, the lack of social contact with colleagues is a stress factor for 35.3%, and the lack of separation between personal and professional life for 30.3%. On the contrary, fewer cited environmental noise (15.9%) and poor remuneration (9.3%) as stressors.

Debates about burnout in the digital age or techno-stress are becoming increasingly important. In fact, the global sample shows that 20.5% suffer from technostress, for example due to technical shortcomings such as faulty routers, inappropriate equipment, battery problems, etc. Technostress at home occurs in almost one in five survey participants.

Working from home also changes the mindset to optimize not only physical and mental health and wellness with over-the-counter supplements, but also increases the ability to focus and promote relaxation. 34.4% of respondents said they have taken over-the-counter supplements to improve their well-being since the start of the pandemic, 18.2% to increase concentration and 13.4% to recover. The use of legal hemp products (eg CBD oil) to improve health has almost doubled since the start of the pandemic (43.3% since the start of the pandemic). Also melatonin consumption: from 38% to 62.6%.

To gain insight into respondents’ well-being, they were also asked about where they work at home. According to the survey, 12.1% have moved their workspace to the bedroom, 31.8% have a personal office, and 35.7% work from the living room. 1.2% of the participants declare that they constantly work in the toilet, bathroom or on the balcony.

Looking to the future, 21.7% of respondents confirm that they have already planned to resign due to their experiences during the pandemic and to work from home, and 9.9% have already left their jobs. Some of the reasons why they left their jobs were, for example, the lack of opportunities for professional development (34.2%), lower pay (30.1%) and constant availability (16.6%).

Employees are also planning other changes so that their well-being and their work are in harmony. For example, 33% want to achieve a clearer separation between personal and professional life, and 20.9% want to adopt more training initiatives. In addition, there is a certain tendency to work during vacation and/or during illness.

“With the Well-being and Working from Home 22 report, we, as technology providers aimed at facilitating, accelerating and more efficient remote working, want to record and better understand the weak points of employees in this new working model” , explains Klaus von Rothkai, CEO of NFON AG. “We are learning that European companies need to pay much more attention to the quality of the working environment: people, health and well-being are very important in this regard. The ‘new job’ is still in its infancy and we, the employers, are the ones who can otherwise influence to make hybrid working models suitable for people and businesses.”

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