Working from home has quickly become established, but social isolation is lurking

The majority of office workers who have largely worked from home since March have fully mastered working from home. However, there is also a downside: the lack of social contact.

Digital means of communication have become commonplace in a very short time due to all that working from home. They function well for quick and easy communication with colleagues, customers and other relations. More than half of the home workers now find it just as easy to consult online as at the office face-to-face.

This is shown by research by Moneypenny, the company that in the year 2000 established itself as a virtual assistant, or “remote secretary” if you like. That secretary is probably not unfamiliar with the phenomenon of working from home. Moneypenny conducted the research on the experience of working from home in times of corona together with Prof. Pascale Peters from Nyenrode Business University and researcher Martine Coun from the Open University. The results have been released today.

Online consultation 3 hours and 22 minutes a day

More than a quarter of the respondents even experience hardly any difference in the experience between online and physical communication (the other three quarters can of course be compared with that percentage).

Since March, the participants in the study have been working 80 percent of their hours from home. Before the corona crisis, the respondents worked an average of 11 hours a week at home, this is currently over 30 hours. In a very short time, a major shift has taken place in the ways of working together and communicating. Not only with colleagues, but also with customers and external relations is now communicated online. On average, respondents communicate online for 3 hours and 22 minutes a day. One in five respondents is a major consumer of online communication with 5 hours or more per day.

“Just like in the office”

Digital technology has become accepted in a short time. We will have to. In the opinion of a large majority, online tools work well for quick mutual contacts and consultation. For slightly more than half of the respondents, it is just as easy to consult remotely directly as if you were together in the office. β€œNow that the technology is available everywhere, there are new opportunities to realize working from home”, says Prof. Peters.

Working from home is also missing the workplace

A large part of the respondents say that they mainly miss the informal contacts in the workplace. And one in seven respondents even indicated that they feel socially isolated at the moment. β€œWe advise organizations to think about how to stimulate interconnection with a mix of online and face-to-face meetings and activities. It is also important to consider the needs of individual employees ”, says Susan Smulders of Moneypenny.

Also read: Household role division overhauled by working from home

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Working from home is quickly becoming established, but social isolation is lurking


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