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COVID-19 Crisis Shines Light on Pros and Cons of Working Remotely

Tamara E. Holmes
COVID-19 Crisis Shines Light on Pros and Cons of Working Remotely

As employees adjust to working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, many are adapting to new work routines and discovering a fondness for remote working that they didn’t know they had.

In recent weeks, the growing number of COVID-19 cases across the country has led businesses to shut down their offices and send employees home to work. For many of those not accustomed to working from home, online video meetings and family interruptions have taken some getting used to. Collaboration software provider Monday.com surveyed 1,000 workers to find out how well they are making the adjustment.

While a majority of respondents — 69% — said they are enjoying working remotely more than they expected to, many are finding that their workday looks a lot different than it did before.

Remote working shakes up routines

Office workers typically spend a set number of hours in the workplace and then go home. However, remote workers often find it challenging to shut off their professional obligations and implement work-life balance. In fact, half of the respondents to the Monday.com survey said they miss the work-life separation that going to the office every day provides.

Some have even seen an uptick in their work hours or have watched their work hours stretch out throughout the day:

  • 61% said they are working more at night or in the early morning
  • 49% said they are spending more time at their computers than they did in the office

At the same time, remote workers are incorporating more family time into their workdays. In fact, 42% of respondents said they’ve been calling family and friends more often since working from home and 17% said they have worked with a child or a pet in their lap.

Workers find pros and cons

Remote workers are also finding that there are benefits and drawbacks to working from home. When it comes to productivity, the sentiment is mixed. Earlier studies have highlighted how some workers find it challenging to be productive when working from home. The Monday.com survey reinforces those findings, as only a slight majority — 54% — said they have been more productive at home than they are at the office. When asked to describe their work-from-home experience, only 41% used the word “productive” to do so. A quarter of respondents — 25% — described working from home as “exhausting.”

However, some are finding that their work performance is not suffering, and in some cases, it may be improving. For example, 21% said their team communicates more now that everyone is working from home and 19% said they are more communicative with team members since working from home.

Workers are finding that some aspects of office life can’t be replicated at home.

  • 44% said they miss their co-workers
  • 21% said they miss taking lunch breaks outside of the office

At the same time, some are enjoying the privileges of being housebound.

  • 52% wake up later because they don’t have to commute
  • 37% wear pajamas during the day
  • 28% eat meals that are healthier
  • 17% take less frequent showers

Monday.com’s methodology: To capture the sentiments of employees who have been working remotely since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Monday.com surveyed 1,000 full-time workers in April.