Home workers struggle with isolation

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Apr 23 2020 by Nicola Hunt Print This Article

A sense of isolation caused by the loss of interaction with work colleagues is one of the biggest issues people are having to deal with whilst working from home according to a recent survey carried out by Cartridge People.

Almost a third of the 1,500 UK workers surveyed said that being away from their colleagues was a direct cause of stress, while a quarter said that their home workspace simply isn't big enough to accommodate their workload.

Technology frustrations are causing problems too, with employees struggling with printers, virtual meetings and conference calls - the sort of issues that IT departments used to sort out.

"It might sound obvious, but keeping in regular contact is essential to successful homeworking and ensuring near-normal operations,Ē says Cartridge Peopleís Julie Gimblett. ďFor some employees, this may be their first experience of working from home, and without open lines of communication, working remotely can create real anxiety and leave employees feeling directionless. Itís important to establish a system of contact, not only between managers and employees but between colleagues, too.Ē

The survey also found that a quarter of UK workers working from home take regular breaks to help their mental wellbeing and a third are exercising daily and making sure they leave the house to get some fresh air. Only one in seven are keeping to a strict routine.

"Many will be feeling isolated at this time, despite the interventions businesses have made to ensure meetings and conversations can still take place,Ē Julie Gimblett added. Itís hard to replace that office 'feel' where you can ask the person next to you for help or take part in a conversation on a non-work matter. It's therefore important that there is a social element to replace what's being lost due to the current situation with COVID-19 in addition to other support from employers.Ē