- Nearly a fifth of workers in a recent survey said employers misunderstand their productivity and workload, according to a May 21 survey by Peakon; employers are "out of touch" regarding the stress they are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic, they said.
- While respondent employees said their physical safety has been taken under consideration, many said they don't feel the same consideration has been made for mental health. Employees said they feel pressured to work harder and longer, the survey noted.
- Employees also may feel their managers don't trust them, the survey revealed; employees spoke often about "pulling weight" and not wanting to be seen as a slacker, Peakon said in the release.
Employees may be working more now than prior to the pandemic, other studies have shown. According to analysis from Clockwise, employees are spending 24% more time in one-on-one meetings and 29% more time in "team sync" meetings — on top of additional "fragmented time," or time that Clockwise defines as shorter than two hours for focused work.
Work-life balance for many professionals prior to the pandemic was already fraught, some surveys said. A study by Neuvana from January revealed that nearly half of employees surveyed felt more stressed working from home than in the office and that "work-life balance is nearly nonexistent." Remote teams are likely here to stay, however; 41% of employees surveyed by Gartner noted that they are likely to work remote at least some of the time in the future.
"Ultimately, the COVID-19 pandemic has many employees planning to work in a way that they hadn't previously considered," Brian Kropp, chief of research for the Gartner HR practice, said in a statement.
As employers adjust, they can keep a pulse on employee mental health. New apps and benefits have emerged to enable employers to better serve their workforces. "HR is good at what HR does, but most HR folks don't have a therapeutic background; they're not counselors," William Kassler, chief medical officer of government health and human services at IBM Watson Health, previously told HR Dive. "But what HR can do is help companies develop the policies and practices in place, get the resources and broker the interaction between people who deliver therapy."
Talent leaders in all industries may be re-examining old norms, too. Some employers have turned to "windowed work," a form of flexible work that allows employees to define the times in which they are free for more intense work versus time they may be using for home-based duties such as caring for children.
"Don't just take the business as usual approach when you're talking to members of your team," Floss Aggrey, vice president of diversity and inclusion at Randstad Sourceright, previously told HR Dive. "Realize they need a space to talk about things they're going through.