Our WFH Insights Survey conducted in May 2020 by YouGov found that whilst most British employees face challenges working from home, older workers are coping better.
How are employees coping with homeworking?
We presented 1,983 employees, confirmed as working from home all or most of the time, with a list of challenges and asked them to select all those that they were experiencing.
Overall, 84% of the respondents reported experiencing one or more challenges, with only 15% stating that they faced no challenge at all. Interestingly though, 32% of those over 55 years working from home reported facing no challenges, versus just 8% of those under 35 years!
This trend is confirmed by the responses to all challenge presented.
Analysing the responses further reveals insights that managers everywhere will find useful in engaging with their staff and supporting them in home working.
Survey findings: Working from home challenges
- Motivation: Staying motivated is the biggest challenge with almost half (45%) of those surveyed selecting this option.
- Staying motivated is particularly difficult for millennials (under-35's) (59%)
- Those working in Media/ marketing/ advertising/ PR & sales (56%), Finance & Accounting (51%) and Construction (51%) find staying motivated more challenging than other industry sectors
- Those with previous experience of working from home did not find staying motivated as challenging (28%) as those new to the concept (50%)
- Loneliness: Is a challenge for over a third of participants working from home (36%)
- Those working in Transportation & distribution (44%) or Medical & Health Services (43%) are more likely than other sectors to feel loneliness was a challenge
- Almost half of millennials find loneliness a challenge when working from home (44%)
- Women are more likely to find loneliness a challenge than men (40% vs 33%)
- More of the under-35's face this challenge than the over 55's (44% vs 22%)
- Distractions: A third (35%) feel that are too many distractions working at home
- This was felt even more by those working in the Medical & health services industry (42%)
- And again, more of the under 35's face this challenge than the over 55's (41% vs 19%)
- The inability to switch off (33%) or keeping a separate work and private life (21%) were a challenge for many
- Those working in the deadline-driven Media/marketing/advertising/PR & sales industry found the inability to switch off more challenging (42%) than other sectors
- Technology issues: And despite all the efforts made by employers, nearly a third (30%) continue to face challenges related to their Internet, wi-fi and other IT issues
- This figure remains nearly constant across businesses of all sizes
- Medical & Health services (22%) and IT &Telecoms (23%) sectors felt the issues less, and those in Retail (40%) and Legal (36%) slightly more
- Regionally, more employees in Wales (36%) and London (35%) are facing challenges with technology when working from home, than those in the rest of the country
- Surprisingly, fewer older workers (22% for over 55's) reported facing this challenge than younger ones (38% for under 35's), but this may be due to younger workers making more intensive use of technology
- Management expectations: Lack of clear expectations from management has often been mentioned as a challenge when working from home by experts and commentators. However, our survey only showed a relatively small minority of employees (15%) agreeing.
- Around 1 in 7 did not feel there were any challenges to working from home (15%)
- b. Unsurprisingly those working from home previously were more likely to feel they had faced no challenges than those new to the concept (30% vs 11%)
- However, the variation by age was large, with more older workers reporting no challenges in working from home – as highlighted in the graph at the top.
Need more help with working from home compliance?
Working from home presents specific challenges to maintaining regulatory compliance. This is why your senior managers and compliance officers will need a resilient, scalable plan.
Our 3-step compliance training and assessment roadmap will help put your homeworking environment on a much stronger footing.
You can access all of these training aids for free, and they are available for roll-out as part of our Compliance Essentials Course Library.
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