This Excitement Graph Explains Exactly Why We Are Tired of Working From Home

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Image for representation.

A survey by an anonymous professional network reveals that 53% of professionals claim that their career has taken a hit in the pandemic.

  • Last Updated: September 28, 2020, 11:59 AM IST


It has been a long time, indeed very long, since many of us went to real office, worked in that space, saw our colleagues, gossiped over chai and smoke. Six months and all that seems to e a distant memory, a dream may be, even like an experience from another lifetime. The pandemic has taken toll on us in more than one ways.

Socialising is nil, the anxiety keeps going up, paranoia hits in and the thought about career trajectory being flat! All these thoughts and much more has made this year a tough experience, and no one is alone in feeling so. A survey by an anonymous professional network reveals that 53% of professionals claim that their career has taken a hit in the pandemic.

The network had 1,625 respondents for it survey that ran for four days from September 14 to 17. The key questions asked in the survey were pegged around internal networking in Work from Home, networking outside the company and impact of WFH on career progression.

READ: Feel Like You’re Working Longer Hours in WFH? Harvard Business Study Finds You are Right

Of the 1,625 respondents, 74% claimed that they haven’t been able to network internally since the inception of WFH, while 75% say that the networking outside the company has been impacted. Interestingly, 53% of the surveyed professionals say that the career progress has been impacted negatively since work from home became a norm at the beginning of this year.

While working from home may seem like a drudgery now, this new normal is here to stay, experts feel so. Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates recently said that the WFH culture has worked well so far and many companies will continue with the system even after the coronavirus pandemic ends.

“It is amazing to see how well the work from home (WFH) culture has worked and I hope will continue even after the pandemic is over,” Gates told an online business summit organised by financial daily The Economic Times.

“But once this pandemic ends, we will rethink on what percentage of time we spend in offices… 20, 30, 50 per cent. Lots of companies will expect their employees to spend well below 50 per cent of their time in offices and may be the rest of the companies will go the normal way,” he added.

Many people have often been saying the the WFH has rendered a blow to the work-life balance. And a Harvard Business Study confirms the sentiment.

Ashwajit Singh, Managing Director, IPE Global, an international development consulting firm, said, “Like many, I also believe that work from home as a concept is here to stay – at least in part even when normalcy returns. While the graph of initial excitement among most has dipped, there is an increasing disconnect of people with the organisation’s culture and networking, both internal and external. Many now feel that office and face-to-face meetings are useful especially for strategy discussions, key meetings and business development.” Singh said more virtual connections with colleagues, people engagement activities and an open and honest communication that spells out that ‘we are with you…’ may be helpful for the long haul.

The study, which was conducted on over 3 million people in 16 global cities found that the average workday increased by 8.2 percent—or 48.5 minutes—during the pandemic’s early weeks. Employees also participated in more meetings, though for less time than they did before COVID-19 sent many workers home.

“There is a general sense that we never stop being in front of Zoom or interacting,” said Raffaella Sadun, professor of business administration in the HBS Strategy Unit in a release. “It’s very taxing, to be honest.”

Shifting to work from home at the start of the pandemic stripped away whatever was left of the elusive 9-to-5 business day and replaced it with videoconferencing and “asynchronous work.”

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