Survey: people working from home more stressed than other employees

Czechs working from home are experiencing more stress than other employees, suggests a survey by Grafton Recruitment agency. People mostly complain about missing out on social interactions with colleagues and about the blurred boundaries between their professional and personal lives.

The annual survey, which was conducted online due to the Covid-19 pandemic, was carried out in spring of this year among more than a thousand employees from across the Czech Republic.

According to the survey results, 86 percent of employees experience stress at work, but only 18 per cent say it is frequent and exhausting. Fifty-two per cent of respondents said they were occasionally stressed at work and 16 per cent mentioned positive, adrenaline-based stress that is motivating.

While these results are more or less identical with last year’s survey, around 40 percent of respondents also reported an increase in stress in their personal lives.

"This is particularly the case for workers who have moved to home office and online environments due to the outbreak of the pandemic. They lack direct social interaction and often struggle with the blurring of boundaries between work and personal life.

"They are working in difficult conditions, often dealing with childcare alongside their work, and therefore in many cases feel more stressed," Martin Malo, Director of Grafton Recruitment and GI Group, told the Czech News Agency.

Some 34 percent of workers complain about being busier than before the pandemic. That concerns mainly people in the business services sector (43 percent). According to the Czech Republic’s Association of Business Service Leaders, this may be to a large extent because the industry often expanded during the pandemic, taking work from sister centres in Asia.

A heavier workload was also reported by 41 percent of IT workers in the survey, mainly due to rapidly advancing digitization, adoption of new technologies and the need for IT support for people working from home.

A quarter of respondents also mentioned poorer communication efficiency, which has changed significantly due to working from home.

"Virtual communication brings with it confusion, especially in the way messages are interpreted. That can lead not only to an unpleasant atmosphere among colleagues, but also to reduced efficiency and productivity. The tendency to be always available and online can be a source of stress for many workers," says Mr Malo.

In addition, some 69 percent of respondents, mainly women and employees over the age of 55, complained about health problems being a source of stress at work.