· 1 min read · News

Coronavirus straining work relationships

Published:

Over half (54%) of workers have found it harder to build relationships with colleagues while working from home.

This has changed employees attitudes towards the benefits of the workplace and the role the office plays in bringing teams togethers, according to a new report by employee engagement platform Totem.UK. 

Over half (61%) of respondents said they believe they will be able to build better relationships with colleagues once they return to the workplace, as they will be able to socialise in person and have conversations during lunch breaks.

In-person onboarding was also preferred by the majority (77%) of respondents, and 58% said remote working has made joining a new company harder.

Steve Wright, managing director of the HR franchise, ourHRpeople, said the key to successfully onboarding a new employee when remote working is allocating a well-briefed role-modelling buddy who is enthusiastic and positive.

He told HR magazine: "This might be a line manager or one of the up and coming talent in your organisation.  

"The buddy’s role can be to introduce the new employee to the team, allowing time for them to give a pen portrait of themselves, finding areas of commonality and encouraging appropriate out-of-work-hours contact – a bit like a matchmaker."


How remote working has changed the workforce: 

Remote work could be damaging relations between different ethnic groups in England and Wales

What six months of remote work has taught us

Remote working putting team cohesion at risk, study finds


Younger workers have had a tougher time starting new jobs remotely than any other demographic.

More than three in five (62%) of 18-to-24-year-olds said working from home made it harder to start a new job, compared with 53% of workers aged over 35.

Marcus Thornley, CEO and founder of Totem, said it is clear that workers are now looking to return to the office, although in a hybrid format.

“Business and HR leaders now have an opportunity to reframe and reimagine how their company and office should run, and it's essential they listen to and respond to their people’s views to inform these changes rather than making assumptions about how employees would like things to operate."

Forgotten hires: how to get onboarding right, surveyed 1,000 UK-based employees who started a new job in the last 10 months about their onboarding and remote working experiences.