Longer hours and more stress. Here’s how to support remote workers.

Before the pandemic even began, many people questioned, even doubted, whether employees could work remotely and remain productive. Over the past 15 months, remote workers have proven nay-sayers wrong. Employees working from home are not only maintaining pre-covid productivity levels, but some are putting in more hours too.  

New survey results say Canadians are paying a COVID tax

According to a recent survey from ADP Canada and Angus Reid, nearly 44% of Canadian remote workers say they are logging more hours than pre-pandemic times. This is a two-fold increase from last year’s survey results, where only 21% of remote workers reported they were ‘paying a COVID tax” by putting in more hours since transitioning to their at-home office. 

What’s even more concerning is that of the 44% of remote employees working overtime, one in ten said they are logging more than eight hours per week. That’s one additional full day of work. It’s no surprise then why the survey also found that stress levels are on the rise too. 

From April 2020 to April 2021, reported stress levels jumped from 34% to 41%. To top that off, about 46% of respondents said they are feeling less engaged with their work since the start of work-from-home orders. 

Only 15% of survey respondents said they are working fewer hours and 38% agree that work hours haven’t changed much. And though most remote employees have longer workdays, about 42% said they are feeling more productive and 37% believe the quality of their work has increased too. 

3 tips on how to support your remote workers right now

The effects that the pandemic has had on employees’ mental health is no secret. Many are struggling to balance home life with work duties, all while trying to navigate a host of uncertainties. Supporting your employees’ wellbeing right now is critical to maintaining high levels of productivity. Encouraging the ease and rest will also ensure they are more engaged and happier with their job. 

As every employer continues to do their best in managing this flux of this pandemic, here are a few tips to keep in mind right now: 

  1. Find out what YOUR employees think – These surveys provide great insights on what’s happening in a market, but that doesn’t mean your employees feel the same way. Consider sending out a poll or having one-on-ones to gather employee feedback on work hours, morale, and stress levels. You’ll then have the information you need to better support them. 
  1. Remind them of your mental health perksHave mental health offerings, virtual counseling, or a health spending account that can support employee wellbeing? Remind your employees of those perks. Not every employee will remember what tools are at their disposal, and those very tools could help them better manage life and stress right now. 
  1. Communicate company policies about work hours – Your employees might be feeling extra pressure from some higher-ups or their managers about putting in longer than usual hours. Keep everyone on the same page by sharing company policies about work hours and breaks. Encourage your team to take time off too. These small acts can help validate their need for rest.  

Thinking about what’s next for your team

Navigating the ups and downs of this pandemic hasn’t been easy for anyone. If you need extra support gathering employee feedback, educating your team on wellness benefits, or enhancing your mental offering, reach out to our team at BenefitDeck
Wondering whether remote work will become a permanent thing? Check out our article ‘Key considerations and stats for your post-pandemic workplace.’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Ready To Start?

Whether you are with a business, association, or owner operator, we have the solution for your needs.