Is the sudden change in environment getting you down?
A year after the world’s work-from-home experiment, professionals who are now back to working on site are reporting the negative effects their return to the office has had on their team spirit. In a recent Paychex survey, nearly two in five workers on average say they began experiencing low morale ever since they headed back to the worksite. In contrast, only one in five remote employees grapple with low morale.
The threat of exposure to the coronavirus continues to be a top concern among employees now returning to their main hub. Half of respondents said they were worried about contracting COVID-19 in the workplace. However, findings of the study also suggest that the sudden change in a team’s work environment can also take a toll on their morale.
Read more: COVID-19: How to boost staff morale
“Thirty-nine percent of employees working back on-site acknowledged the change from working remotely as decreasing team morale,” researchers said. Despite the hurdles associated with WFH, employees who are already highly motivated and engaged are also “more likely to thrive” in a remote work setting, compared with office-based staff who only recently emerged from a year of WFH, data suggest. In fact, staff members working remotely exhibit the highest levels of morale (46.9%) and productivity (52.7%).
Read more: How to lift employee spirits during COVID-19
“Remote employees were also nearly 15 percentage points more likely to indicate having high morale, 12 percentage points more likely to feel very productive, and almost 14 percentage points less likely to report high stress,” researchers said.
Researchers also observed a trend in these two sets of workers (WFH versus office-based staff): the level of morale in relation to the number of years that a worker has been with a company. “Seasoned employees were more likely to suffer from low morale due to COVID-19, compared to those with a year or less at the company,” they found.