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Remote working slowing career growth, increasing stress: LinkedIn

Work from home has had adverse effect on mental well-being of many professionals. (AP Photo)Premium
Work from home has had adverse effect on mental well-being of many professionals. (AP Photo)

  • With most work places resuming functioning, 50% of professionals expressed concerns about the risk of exposure. More than one in three worried about workplace sanitation (36%), exposure to large groups of people in meetings or in public (34%), and uncertain workplace safety guidelines (34%)

NEW DELHI: Among the many impacts of the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic has been Indian professionals feeling vulnerable to job uncertainty and financial instability amid bleak company outlook, as they continue to work remotely in social isolation.

This, in turn, has had repercussions on their mental well-being, with 39% of them experiencing increased stress or anxiety, according to a mental health survey by LinkedIn. The findings highlight the need for stronger employer support in these times of distress, and complements the vision of World Mental Health Day 2020, which aims to improve and democratise access to mental health services.

With 51% of the Indian workforce working remotely due to the pandemic, the survey questions the effectiveness of the work-from-home model.

Findings also show that while 60% of Indian professionals had felt lonely at some point while working remotely, 37% continue to feel so. More than one in three also believe that working remotely has been slowing down their career progression (41%), making them feel more lonely (37%), and harming their work-life balance (36%).

LinkedIn data displayed employees’ appeal for stronger well-being support as findings show that only one in four (23%) Indian professionals were offered emotional well-being initiatives and flexible work hours by their employers in the early months of the lockdown. Findings also show that only one in five (21%) got more time off through paid or unpaid leaves, while 42% think their companies will not do so after the pandemic.

As industries attempt to bounce back, close to 40% of Indian professionals continue to experience financial instability, signalling high levels of stress and uncertainty prevalent among Indian workforce.

With most work places resuming functioning, 50% of professionals expressed concerns about the risk of exposure. More than one in three also worried about workplace sanitation (36%), exposure to large groups of people in meetings or in public (34%), and uncertain workplace safety guidelines (34%), compounding distress for an uncertain future of work.

The pandemic has taken a toll on working parents, especially working mothers, as findings show that around one in three currently provide childcare full time (28%), and work outside their business hours to provide childcare (33%). Data suggests that working mothers are more likely to cope with distractions from childcare, as 36% say they are unable to focus on work with children at home, compared to 25% of working fathers. Men are also more likely to seek support from friends and family as only 23% of working mothers rely on a family member or friend to take care of their children, compared to 31% of working fathers.

“The ongoing stress around the 3 — Remote work, Return to work, and Risk of exposure — are adversely impacting the mental health of Indian professionals. Companies in India are beginning to bolster their mental health programs to support their employees in such times," said Ashutosh Gupta, India country manager, LinkedIn.

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