Employees who work from home spend more time at their desks and face a greater workload than before the Covid pandemic, two sets of investigations have suggested.
The average time an employee working from home in the UK, Austria, Canada and the US is online at their computer has increased by more than two hours a day since the coronavirus crisis, according to company data from NordVPN Teams business support. .
UK workers have increased their workweek by nearly 25% and, along with employees in the Netherlands, go offline at 8pm, he said.
NordVPN analyzed data on its servers to see how employees working remotely were using private business networks.
Separate investigation shared with The Guardian by remote team building company Wild goose found that 44% of UK employees reported that they were expected to do more work in the past year, and that those in midsize companies were likely to report an increase in workload.
Surveys also showed that home-based workers took shorter lunch breaks, worked sick, and more workers were “always on” as the division between work and free time blurred.
When asked what their company could do better to address burnout or stress while working from home, 55% said it would be helpful for their employer to maintain communication and work expectations within working hours.
Business owners were struggling too, with nearly two in five saying they had suffered from depression, anxiety or burnout in the past year.
NordVPN figures, first published by Bloomberg, show that in January, workers in the UK and the US tended to be online for 11 hours a day, compared to nine hours in the UK and eight in the US before work began. closes in March 2020.
Workers in Canada also increased the number of hours they were online from nine to 11 a day.
However, the number of hours worked by people in Denmark, Belgium and Spain has returned to pre-pandemic levels.
“Online working hours in some European countries have started to stabilize and employees have had the opportunity to return to the office in some way,” NordVPN said. “However, employees in the UK and the Netherlands are working until 8pm and they log out later than usual to end a long workday.”
The data did not show a significant drop in use of commercial virtual private networks (VPNs) at lunchtime, which the firm said could indicate that people take shorter lunch breaks while working remotely.
Wildgoose Managing Director Jonny Edser said: “While we have all become accustomed to working from home as the pandemic has continued, it continues to present enormous challenges in maintaining the proper work-life balance.
“With increasing workloads and a worrying trend to work despite illness, people’s jobs are becoming increasingly blurred with their home lives at a time when it is crucial that the two can remain distinct. each”.
Emma Stewart, Co-Founder of Flexible Work Consulting Timewise, said that during the lockdown flexible forms of work were being forgotten, particularly part-time work.
“The workday runs the risk of losing its barriers and there will be a real impact on mental health and well-being,” he said.
A third survey, this time of freelancers, carried out by the recruitment website Worksome found that employees also reported working longer days since the Covid crisis.
Worksome CEO Morten Petersen said that for many people, “turning off our ‘work mode’ when we work and live in the same house, flat, or even room has become extremely difficult.
“The temptation to answer emails late into the night has become even greater.”
Ceri-Jane Hackling, Cerub’s managing director of Public Relations, said she and her colleague generally worked at least an hour to an hour and a half more a day.
“If we are in the office there is a start time and an end time that we generally comply with unless there is something very urgent, but at home and if you are busy you do not realize the time and you do not have colleagues remind you to go to House. Since we can’t see friends or go to the gym, there is no impetus to leave either. All of my exercise classes and social events are on Zoom, so I don’t have to leave at 5.30pm. M. To get there, making it easy to keep working. “
He said he found himself booking more meetings than he had previously because he no longer had to travel for them, but online meetings often took longer “and because it’s easier to log in, more people are involved.”
“Other people’s circumstances also impact us, so the working hours of some clients and contacts who need homeschooling are different from ours, so tasks that require the participation of different people take more time or we found ourselves answering emails outside of our regular hours to meet deadlines. ”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism