One in five (20%) UK workers now have their work instant messaging app on their personal mobile phone, according to new research.
The study, commissioned by B2B furniture specialist Furniture At Work, and which asked 1,015 UK workers about their routine and habits when working from home, sought to uncover how attitudes to work had changed since the pandemic began. This included the times when most workers are likely to take breaks and the measures they use to ensure their employer knows they’re working.
With workers now being out of sight from their employers, 51% said they’ve started replying to messages faster to remind colleagues they’re working, 47% have been checking in regularly with calls and emails and 49% now sending emails either early in the morning or late at night.
Working from home paranoia is also reflected in the use of work instant messenger services, as 29% of people said they make an effort to ensure Teams never goes onto an ‘away’ status. One-in-five (20%) workers have even downloaded Teams onto their phone – helping them keep in touch even when they’re on the toilet or out for lunch.
The survey also highlighted how some of this paranoia could be fuelled by workers changing work patterns at home. It was discovered that 10-11am every day is the most common time for workers in the UK to step away from their work and take a break, with 22% doing this, equating to nearly 7,000,000 workers taking a break at that time.
When it comes to productivity, Monday is the day when workers are most likely to feel productive, with 24% saying this is the day when they get the most work done. This is in comparison to the least productive day, Friday, which 36% of UK workers said was their least productive day. However, this could be set to change with future generations, as those aged 16-24 picked Wednesday as their most productive day (26%), with 22% saying Monday was actually their least productive day.
A Spokesperson from Furniture At Work commented on the findings: “Working from home may have made it harder for employers to keep in touch with their staff, but we’ve also seen workers finding it a struggle to ensure their employers know they’re working hard. The fact that so many are extending their working days, responding to messages faster and even downloading work instant messenger services onto their phones shows that ‘working from home paranoia’ could really be a thing.
“It’s important for employers to understand the changes in people’s working patterns and act to reassure their staff that they see the hard work that’s being put in. Flexible working is now the future of work, and with one-in-nine (11%) workers still not feeling like they’re trusted by their employer to complete their set hours in a week, it could be damaging the morale and mental health of the workforce.”