The pandemic has been widely defined as the gateway to a new future for the world. For most people, particularly the millennials the changes were unprecedented, rapid and highly disruptive. Along with major lifestyle changes, Work From Home (WFH) became a reality that most of the working population was pushed into.
The recent YouGov-Mint-CPR Millennial Survey found that the millennials are fundamentally divided in their perception of WFH. Before the pandemic, unlike many developed nations WFH was not a mainstream option for most of the workforce. The general notion was that WFH is a perk reserved for the lucky ones. However, when the pandemic forced the entire generation to WFH, the repercussions were unexpected.
In a surprising reveal, the survey found that out of approximately 6000 urban respondents, 55% didn’t find the WFH experience enjoyable and less than 45% wanted to continue with WFH. The findings highlighted several drawbacks of the WFH arrangement that people were facing. The greatest culprit was found to be substantial increase of workloads, that 81% of the respondents pointed out.
The survey was conducted in the months of October and November, when 55% of the participants were fully working from home, 20% were working in offices and about 25% were working in a hybrid setting of taking turns with co-workers to work remotely and from office. The below chart presents a clearer picture of how the millennials define their experience of WFH.
Image source: Statista
The blurring boundaries between home and work has been a major flaw of WFH throughout the world. In this survey as well, 60% of the millennials reported difficulty in balancing household chores and office work. Women employees are projected to be suffering more due to this since they are the primary caregivers and shoulder most of the domestic work.
Presence of family members at home has been rated as a negative component for WFH by about 48% of the respondents, however, about 65% of the surveyed people reported an improvement of relationship with family due to the proximity imposed by WFH.
Globally all sections of the population have listed missing social interaction at work, with family and friends as a major problem during the pandemic. Resonating the same sentiment, 55% of the survey participants reported working without colleagues as unsatisfactory. In many fields, especially the creative and media sectors, where brainstorming with entire teams is a necessity, this was a major challenge.
Stress and anxiety emerged as another major problem fueled by working from home. One in four participants admitted feeling worsening of their mental health during the pandemic, however, only 30% among them sought professional help or counselling in any form.
Overall, the survey found that the millennials are gravitating towards perceiving WFH negatively, although numerous positive aspects have also shot to prominence. The changes brought about by the pandemic are expected to have far reaching changes in our lives and will shape our future significantly.
Employers have realized the positives of WFH like cost savings from real estate, etc. while the employees discovered that remote working is not all that blissful. How businesses strike the right balance between remote working and working in office remains to be seen, but one thing is certain, WFH will continue to remain mainstream in the years to come.