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Women more likely to feel alone when WFH, men are keener to return to office

As a growing number of businesses commit to a long-term WFH setup, a new study commissioned by a leading intelligent learning platform has revealed that more than two thirds (67%) of workers in the UK feel ‘disconnected’ from their colleagues, with women suffering from professional loneliness more than men.

Other key insights include attitudes to remote working, with three fifths (60%) of women stating they’d like to continue WFH, compared to a fifth (19%) of men. Additionally, half of all employees admit (49%) the disconnect is having a negative impact on how they view their job, and a third (32%) say it’s having a negative impact on their mental health.

The research, compiled by HowNow, asked 3,000 remote workers from the UK how they’ve felt working from home for the past 12 months. Two fifths (42%) said they felt ‘alone’. Of these respondents more than half were women, and with the study pool being a 50/50 gender split, this result indicates a clear pattern that women have been suffering with professional loneliness more than their male colleagues.

A report from Microsoft Surface and YouGov at the beginning of 2021 discovered that more than four fifths (87%) of employees reported their businesses have adapted to hybrid/remote working. HowNow’s survey results show that the majority of remote workers (79%) would prefer to continue working from home in some capacity, with just 5% answering they’d like to return to a work space full time.

Nelson Sivalingam, CEO and Co-Founder of HowNow, said: “At HowNow, our mission has always been to give people the right skills, knowledge and mindset to succeed in their role and career. However, after a full-year of working from home and office returns creeping onto the horizon, those three things are bound to have been affected. That’s why we decided to commission this survey, to get a true feel for how employees view the WFH anniversary and eventual return to the office.

“And what should give leaders hope is that the two key themes are issues they can tackle right now. Currently, a lot of people are feeling disconnected from colleagues and looking ahead, there are understandable concerns about returning to ‘normality’.  From introducing virtual socials for this final stretch to managing the office return, now is the perfect moment to evaluate and take action.”

Full details of the study can be found here: