With tons of organisations across the globe (including yours, maybe) shifting to a work-from-home model during the pandemic, what do employees really think of the arrangement? Have they benefited from it?

According to the latest Cigna COVID-19 Global Impact Study, 64% of employees surveyed globally have revealed better communication with their co-workers since working from home, and have become closer to them as well.

In particular, improved communication stood out in the Asian markets surveyed, with 79% of people in the UAE, 73% in China, 68% in Thailand and 65% in Singapore stating communication with their colleagues had improved during the crisis.

At the same time, a total of 76% said their workday is now more flexible, with 90% in Thailand, 80% in Spain, and 79% in the UAE saying so.

79% indicate an 'always on' culture

That said, having to work from home has had its downsides, with 79% of respondents experiencing an 'always on' culture (78% in Singapore, 74% in the UK, 72% in Hong Kong). 

In fact, close to six in 10 people said they are working longer days (59%) - 75% in Thailand, 65% in the UAE, and 64% in China. 

In Singapore, while people say they are working more before and after traditional work hours, and even during vacation time, the impact is most serious at the weekends, with 59% saying they are working at weekends, compared to 47% in January.

This has thus had a direct impact on work-related stress, with 63% indicating they felt more stressed at work in April as compared to 58% in January.

Overall, work wellbeing indicators remain consistent across the globe

Apart from the above, the survey found that on a whole, work wellbeing has just marginally increased from 68.7 points previously to 69 points now, with an improvement observed in learning and development training contributing significantly (58%, up from 54%).

There have also been marginal improvements in good work-life balance, up from 63% to 64% in April.

Personally, family wellbeing has also remained consistent. In Singapore and the UAE, there were particularly significant increases in family well-being indices (2.6 and 2.9 point increases respectively).

Globally, there were significant improvements in people’s confidence in protecting their partner’s wellbeing (up from 44% to 47%) and that of their children (marginally increasing by 3% from 48% to 51%), along with spending sufficient time with family (marginally increasing 2% from 43% – 45%).

On the other hand, financial wellbeing has dropped by one point (from 55.8 to 54.8 points), similar to social wellbeing, which dropped 0.8 points from 63.2 to 62.4.

[ALSO READ: Staying at home during COVID-19? Don’t forget to keep your health in check]


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