January 17, 2022
Working from home isolation felt more keenly by younger workers
A new poll from RingCentral, a provider of cloud communications claims that younger workers are more likely to report feelings of isolation and anxiety when working from home. The firm claims that the results of the survey highlight the need for employers and others to ensure they stay connected and engaged with those working from home alone. Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that around 1 in 6 (17 percent) adults experienced depression during the latter half of 2021 – almost double the rate before the pandemic (1 in 10).
RingCentral’s research claims that younger individuals are disproportionately more likely to feel isolated as a result of working from home, with 3 in 5 (63 percent) of 21-24 year olds feeling this way compared to a third (34 percent) of 45-54 year olds. What’s more, two thirds (66 percent) of the younger group (21-24 year olds) said they work with colleagues they’ve never met and therefore feel anxious about returning to the office, with half this number (33 percent) of 45-54 year olds feeling the same way.
There were also differences between male and female workers, with just under half (45 percent) of women admitted to feeling isolated, compared to 34 percent of men. In addition, just under a quarter (24 percent) of women and a fifth (20 percent) of men said that they are less happy now than they were before Covid. Looking at the positives, 60 percent of women and 48 percent of men say Covid-19 has made them more empathetic.
With nearly 1 in 5 (18 percent) of those aged 21-34 citing that their relationship with their supervisor has worsened since the onslaught of Covid-19, a positive two-way dialogue is critical to ensuring workers feel engaged and valued. As staff retention remains a critical focus against a backdrop of the ‘Great Resignation,’ it was shocking to see that a quarter (25 percent) of 21-24 said they have not had any supervisor support during the pandemic.
Other highlights include:
- 63 percent of 21-24 year olds say remote work has made them feel isolated, compared to 34 percent of those aged 45-54.
- 24 percent of women and 20 percent of men are less happy now than before the pandemic.
- Nearly one in five (18 percent) of 21-34 year olds say their relationship with their supervisor is worse now than before Covid-19 and 25 percent of those aged 21-24 say they have not had supervisor support during the pandemic.
- However, 60 percent of women and 48 percent men say Covid has made them more empathetic.