With work-from-home continuing to be a common arrangement in organisations across the world today, many employees now feel that they would like to do so for at least half of the time in the future.
According to a recent survey published in the Cigna COVID-19 Global Impact Study, 53% of respondents have indeed said so; in particular, 67% in Singapore, 56% in Spain and Thailand, and 40% in Korea.
Additionally, close to one quarter (22%) said they wanted to work from an office no more than 20% of the time.
Could this signal the end of the nine to five hours, and five-day workweek? Possibly so, with less than a quarter of respondents (23%) saying they would want to return to the office full time - and the lowest demand coming from Singapore and Thailand (17%) as well as China (19%).
42% are worried about getting infected at the office or by daily commutes
Given how quickly and easily the virus spreads, and with certain countries noting incidences of workplace infections, it doesn't come as a surprise that people would be concerned with having prolonged exposure outside of their homes.
In fact, according to the survey, this has created new anxieties among employees, with 42% of respondents concerned about catching the virus through their daily commute, in-person meetings, or common work spaces.
Zooming into individual country responses - this was most common among respondents in Singapore (54%), followed by those in the UAE (51%) and 19% in Hong Kong.
At the same time, slightly more than one-fourth (41%) expressed concerns about workplace protocols, such as social distancing measures and the need to wear a face mask. Of these, those in Thailand and Singapore were the most worried (47%), and those in New Zealand least so (26%).
What kind of support would employees like to see from employers?
Six in 10 employees (60%) they would like to receive subsidies on extra expenses, such as protective and sanitising products, utility bills from working from home, with 73% and 71% in the UAE and Singapore indicating so. Despite this, approximately one in five (19%) said that their employer already had suitable measures in place, although 29% of UAE and 18% of Singapore employers have stepped up to offer this support, compared to only 11% in Hong Kong.
Additionally, employees would like to see more mental health support being provided; although nearly a quarter (24%) said their employers currently offer such support, 50% said they would like more. New Zealand (40%) and UAE (34%) employers have led the way with the provision of mental health support, compared to only 15% of Korean and 16% of Hong Kong firms.
Photo / 123RF