Working from home, for many, has been a revelation throughout the pandemic.
The ability to ditch the daily commute, get work done without interruptions from colleagues, and cut down on the travel time between meetings has created a much happier experience for remote office workers.
However, this new age of remote working doesn’t suit everyone.
With the news this week that the latest stage in easing lockdown measures in England will be delayed by at least a month, new research has found that younger workers have struggled the most with the transition to working from home.
According to the LifeSearch Health, Wealth & Happiness Index, 31% of people working from home find it more stressful than being in the office.
For younger people, this proportion of those finding it stressful rises to 38%.
Overall, the research shows that 40% of workers feel lonely and isolated working from home.
For the under-35s, 52% say working from home results in feelings of loneliness, with 49% reporting they feel ‘cut off’ from colleagues.
61% of younger workers miss the team morale and workplace community.
The research also found some interesting findings of the challenges associated with working from home.
57% of people have worked from home during the pandemic, with 78% of these forced home workers still doing so. But one of the key reasons people struggle to work from home is the lack of a suitable setup.
More than a third of respondents said they don’t have a suitable place to work, which rises to 37% for 18 to 35-year-old workers.
31% of the respondents who have been working from home say they struggle to find the peace and quiet they need to work effectively, which rises to 36% for younger workers.
Workers with children under 18 have struggled the most to find a ‘quiet space’ to work from home, with 41% reporting this as a challenge.
Another challenge associated with working from home is working too much! A third of younger workers feel they work too much.
A little more than a third of people reported working more hours since the onset of the pandemic, rising to 42% for younger workers.
However, over-55s say they are working fewer hours, on average, than they did before the start of the pandemic.
Emma Walker, Chief Marketing Officer at LifeSearch who commissioned the study, said:
“While working from home can bring many benefits, we have found that younger people in particular have struggled with this shift, both practically - they are more likely not to have a suitable home working environment - and emotionally, with feelings of loneliness and isolation higher in this age group.”
“With younger people more likely to live alone, or to share with housemates or a young family, and therefore be competing over working space, it is perhaps understandable that this age group will have found it tougher to move to a home-based environment.”