Workers missing teamwork and friendship in pandemic

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​Employees feel less connected to their leaders, teammates and friends compared to their lives before the coronavirus pandemic.

Employee engagement firm Glint reported that workers were feeling fatigued as the pandemic continues to impact return to work plans.

Forty-per cent of employees in its research felt less connected to their friends, 37% to their teammates and 31% to their leaders.

Yet 48% of employees reported feeling more connected to their family members as a result.

Employers and managers were largely similar in their top concerns when returning to the office, with staying healthy and safe in the workplace the main concern for both, followed by safely commuting to work and still needing to care for children or family members.

Echoing plenty of previous studies, the report found that employees want more flexibility by remote working and flexible hours which led to a better work-life balance.

Four out of five employees are interested in workplace arrangement that isn’t solely office-based.

Speaking to HR magazine, Justin Black, head of people science at Glint, said HR should be aware that offices reopening creates a new potential source of stress for employees.

He said: “Even in normal circumstances, managers need to communicate with their teams, and these unusual working conditions make it all the more critical to keep in touch with how your people are doing and what support they need to work effectively.

“As we adjust to a new work situation, it’s important for organisational leaders and managers to take these steps and keep connection and wellbeing concerns front of mind. That way, we can make the return to work as safe and productive as possible.”

Glint has been compiling a superset of five million survey responses since March from workers around the world across a broad range of industries.

Further reading:

HR directors predict wave of flexible working requests

Remote productivity suffers due to lack of office chat

Employers accused of not ‘actively listening’ to workers during coronavirus response

Care and connection: How to build a company culture during coronavirus and beyond

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