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  • Junction Collective

Zoom fatigue or just fatigue? 2H 2020 Omnibus Survey Results

Updated: Dec 7, 2020

In October we partnered with Fuse Insights to participate in a Canadian omnibus survey that asked 1,000 Canadians how they were managing through the latter half of the Covid-19 pandemic. To get a good sense of what issues companies are facing, we asked for some input from our clients as we put together our questions.

Some feedback from our clients:

  • Brainstorming and problem-solving is much harder to do.

  • Productivity is all over the place. Many employees simply do not work well at home or have too many distractions.

  • Office is open, but very few are comfortable going in yet, and we suspect that we will have no more than 1/3rd of the staff in at any given time.

  • We anticipate those who have to commute a long distance will almost never come in.

  • We are careful not to pressure employees to come to the office, but are balancing that with the need to keep and create a culture. Can’t do that from home.

  • Culture is #1 for us. It's hard to create bonds and share water-cooler conversations when everybody WFH.

The questions we asked in the survey:

  • What suffers most when working in a remote environment?

  • Has the pandemic permanently shifted the way we work?

  • What can companies do to help employees work remotely?

  • How long do you speculate Canadian employees will continue to work remotely?

  • What is most important for a remote onboarding to a new job?

The results again confirmed some of our June 2020 survey results and demonstrates some of the continuing struggles that employers and employees are continuing to face.

Survey respondents current work status:

  • About half have made the switch to working at home since the start of the COVID-19 disruption.

  • And two thirds of them (i.e. about 4 out of 10 workers) are doing all their work from home.

To workers, the most important element of work is being able to separate between work time and home life:

  • Nearly 9 out of 10 consider it important.

  • 8 out of 10 say it’s important to have the right balance of time in work between meetings and getting work done.

Given the importance they place on it, the fact that half of people working from home said they’re less able to separate work and home life should be a concern to employers.

Some solutions that can be easily implemented:

  • Consider implementing “off screen” or no contact zones whereby any work communication is disabled, allowing employees to not feel like they are permanently connected. Encourage offline time and reward employees for participating.

  • If logging off is not an option, consider a 2 - 3 hour response rule. People working from home may not be able to focus 100% on work during designated work hours. They need flexibility in order to be productive. To remove stress, relax response time expectations.

To people who’ve had to switch to working from home, collaboration, team spirit and the ability to split work and home life have been the big losers in their work:

  • Three quarters of Canadians working from home said that they’ve been socializing less with colleagues, and a majority said their collaboration with colleagues has suffered.

  • And for a significant minority, Zoom fatigue is a thing: a third say they’re spending too much time in meetings and 4 out of 10 are fed up with constant video meetings.

Consider implementing tools that keep employees motivated and connected. New companies are popping up who offer incentives and gifts for employees working from home.

But the majority would still appreciate being able to work from home in the future:

  • Despite these challenges, two thirds of Canadians currently working from home think they’re just as able to do their job at home as in the office (albeit that a third disagree).

  • …and 6 out of 10 would like to work from home permanently, even after the disruption from COVID-19 has passed.

Covid-19 has forced organizations to reevaluate their staffing strategy:

  • Consider creating a WFH committee or task force who is solely dedicated to the well-being and productivity of your employees.

  • Build out a survey for your employees to track their emotional well-being over time.

  • Create a culture committee. Seek out ambassadors who help implement your organization’s culture in a remote environment. Your culture defines who you are and is what top talent is most attracted to. It’s the pulse of your organization.

Working from home isn’t going anywhere any time soon. It’s time to plan for the future. No one saw the shift in the workplace coming. Now, we’ve experienced it for almost a full year and can better prepare for what’s to come.

Get in touch with us at Junction Collective to talk more about building teams, remote working and getting on our roster.

Want all the results? In a presentation format? We got you. Just a 2-pager? We got that too.

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