Employees more stressed since COVID onset

Women more impacted than men
  • Deborah Condon

A majority of employees in Ireland are feeling more stressed since the onset of COVID-19, with women more affected than men, a new survey has shown.

According to the findings, 60% of employees are feeling more stressed since the onset of the pandemic. Altogether 67% of females say they are more stressed compared to 45% of men.

Some 48% of women said they were having difficulties balancing work and home life compared to 34% of men. Furthermore, issues around caring responsibilities and returning to work were a concern for 44% of women compared to 30% of men.

Overall, 31% of employees feel that their quality of life is worse since the onset of COVID-19, while 61% are concerned about their safety in relation to returning to the workplace.

The survey of 590 employees and managers was carried out by the Department of Work and Employment Studies at the Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick, on behalf of OMT Global.

It found a big disconnect between employees, their teams and their organisations. For example, 51% of employees feel less connected to their teams since the onset of the pandemic, while 40% feel less connected to their organisations.

"Employees and managers express concerns that the social aspect of work will significantly diminish going forward impacting team spirit and opportunities to collaborate. Specifically, opportunities to engage in innovative and strategic activities and articulate their ideas or concerns up through the organisation is highlighted," a report into the findings stated.

When it comes to the future, 69% of employees said that they would prefer a blend of working from home and being onsite, while 74% have already been informed by their organisations that this new approach of blended work will continue into the future.

On a positive note, 70% of employees felt that their managers were supportive during the pandemic, 85% felt that their manager demonstrated understanding, while 66% said they were afforded flexibility with their working hours.

However, 16% of employees said they felt less valued by their organisations.

"These findings illustrate a clear desire by employees and their managers for a new way of working. The hope expressed in this research is that more flexible working options, specifically working from home blended with onsite activity, will become a cornerstone of workplaces into the future," the report said.

The report into the findings, Beyond COVID-19: Research Insights into a New World of Work, can be viewed here.


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