Lockdown survey: 52% of participants report increase in working hours

A local survey conducted by the Human Edge, during the lockdown, has revealed some interesting statistics regarding working remotely and the effects thereof.   


According to the survey, 52% of its participants reported an increase in working hours during the lockdown period due to working from home. 

WORKING REMOTELY DURING LOCKDOWN


Business Director at corporate cultural experts, The Human Edge, Helene Vermaak cited a quote saying; "we may all be in the same boat but we are all weathering a different storm." 


"Living and working within the COVID-19 constraints has, unfortunately, become our new norm. There is no doubt that each and every one of us has been affected as a result, the extent of this effect may differ though," read the statement. 


The Human Edge survey, conducted during the lockdown, revealed that 64% of participants believe the pandemic is causing financial struggles in their households. 


"As the lockdown continues, there is no doubt that this number will see a steep increase," said Vermaak.


A whopping 83% of respondents reported that they were required to work remotely while 52% reported an increase in working hours. Some other insights gained were:

  1. 31% reported  an increase in the quality of their work as a consequence of working from home;

  2. 33% reported an increase in the frequency of manager feedback;[*]29% reported an increase in coworker engagement; and[*]24% reported an increase in hours spent engaging with clients.

According to Vermaak, South African businesses responded quickly to employees having to work from home with 79% of the respondents saying their organisations supported and enabled the process.


"What is concerning is that only 51% of respondents feel that their colleagues are able to raise issues of a sensitive nature relating to lockdown challenges," it said. 

ADDITIONAL PRESSURE AND ANXIETY 


Vermaak said 45% of respondents are greatly concerned about their organisations being equipped to face COVID-19 threats, especially from a financial perspective. 


"It is no doubt adding to the concern and anxiety South Africans are feeling about the future," she said. 


"Managers need to have the skills to manage remote teams and to encourage communication and collaboration habits otherwise this virus will impact team connectivity, morale, accountability and results," she added. 


Vermaak said leaders play an extremely important role during times of uncertainty, therefore, it is imperative employees are made to feel comfortable to hold candid and effective conversations, as they face new rules, spaces and heightened emotions.


Vermaak says that despite the above results being positive for organisations, she is concerned that leaders and individuals are not taking into account the additional pressure and anxiety that this virus has brought into our lives.


"It is now more than ever of utmost importance to find and maintain a balance."