Remote working putting strain on workers’ personal relationships

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A survey of 3,800 people in the UK has found self-isolation is affecting personal relationships while remote working

For nearly 2 in 3 Brits (68%), remote working has already put a strain on their relationship according to PR firm Cherry Digital, and eight days is the average time people say it takes before things become tense.

The majority of respondents (63%) who are working from home with their partner said they do not have enough room for both to work comfortably.

Nathalie Smith, senior account manager at Cherry Digital, told HR magazine: “The impact of the Coronavirus on our working lives was so sudden that most of us have had little time to prepare our homes as our regular place of work.

“Trying to find a little corner to call our own is important as is making sure to clean up the space as soon as working hours are over. The key is to retain some sense of normality and comfort whilst using your home as a space for productivity.”

Still, despite these challenges 61% maintain that working from home actually increases their productivity.

One of the many businesses which has migrated staff to work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic is Unicef.

The charity worked hard to introduce measures early in the pandemic cycle to make sure its staff are supported.

Speaking to HR magazine, Martyn Dicker, chief people officer at Unicef, said: “Although we are proud of our flexible culture and working from home for a small part of the week is not unusual for most of the workforce, it’s very different when a new way of working is forced upon you.”

To counteract feelings of social isolation and challenges employees may be experiencing due to distancing Dicker said that the organisation has “developed a virtual mindfulness course, online yoga” and “desk workouts.”

He added: “We are seeing a huge increase in the use of video calls between colleagues, of interactions on our internal communications channels, like Workplace, of virtual coffee breaks together.

"The use of team WhatsApp groups has also seen many more interactions, with lighter things also being shared to keep spirits up.”

A survey conducted by FlyResearch on behalf of Vodafone UK found that 41% of Brits are missing work banter, and two in five (40%) are missing colleagues.

Extra time gained by cutting out the daily commute was listed as the top benefit of working from home by 51% of respondents.

Despite 61% of respondents reporting that they are just as productive when working from home as the office, 27% said they worry about their boss, clients and colleagues thinking that they are not working.

FlyResearch asked 2,000 working adults aged 18 and above.