Monday, February 6, 2023
HomeHealthLess productive, more anxious — new survey shows effect of Covid on...

Less productive, more anxious — new survey shows effect of Covid on workers

Covid-19 prompted about 30 per cent of employed adults to take a leave of absence, according to a new World Economic Forum-Ipsos survey.

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Stress, anxiety and loneliness have increased among working people, according to a new survey, underscoring the ongoing toll of the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than half of working adults experienced anxiety relating to their job security and stress due to changes in their working patterns, according to a World Economic Forum-Ipsos survey.

With the virus continuing to affect every region of the world, the results shine a light on the widespread disruption to life and show how the effects go beyond physical health, to mental health and everyday working patterns.

Among those able to work from home, family pressures, finding a work-life balance and feelings of loneliness and isolation were cited as increasing as the pandemic disrupted lives and interrupted long-established practices.

a chart showing the effect of COVID-19 on workers

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Some are affected more than others

While for some, there are upsides to working from home, such as a reduced commute and more personal time, there are also limitations. And much of the global workforce has little or no opportunity to work remotely, with jobs requiring machinery or person-to-person contact.

More than half of the people surveyed between 20 November and 4 December worked from home, while 32% worked longer hours, 32% worked shorter hours, 30% took a leave of absence and 15% left their job.

Others reported falling productivity, working very early in the morning or very late at night and difficulties in getting work done due to inadequate home office set-up.

The report also showed variations from country to country. While around half of respondents said they felt lonely when working remotely, this varied from 75% in Turkey to just 24% in Japan. Most countries showed more than 40% of home workers feeling isolated.

a chart showing how loneliness has increased under remote working
Globally, 49% of workers say they’ve felt lonely or isolated working from home.
Image: IPSOS

And the findings showed the pandemic is taking its toll on some more than others, with people under age 35, business owners, decision-makers, lower-income workers and women more prone to reporting negative effects on their well-being.


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