The idea of working from home in pajamas may sound appealing, but the reality may not be so pleasant. In fact, many employees doing their jobs remotely amid the pandemic are finding themselves with a seemingly never-ending workload.
Among those who have started working from home during the coronavirus outbreak, more than two-thirds (68%) say their workload has them clocking in on weekends, according to a new survey from staffing firm Robert Half.
Meanwhile, nearly half of remote employees (45%) reported spending more than eight hours a day performing job duties, perhaps leaving some workers longing for the days of commuting to the office.
Men, working parents likely to put in the most hours
Throughout the pandemic, workers have found that there are benefits and drawbacks to working from home. Remote working allows flexibility, but it sometimes comes with a cost.
The survey found a gender difference in this respect, with men more likely than women to work remotely more than 40 hours per week (53% vs. 38%). Some women may be working less because they have had to “downshift,” or take on fewer hours because of caregiving duties that have increased during the pandemic.
At the same time, both men and women are putting in their share of weekend hours — 77% of men and 61% of women said they worked on the weekends.
The survey findings also show working parents spending more time performing work-related duties than their non-parent counterparts. Among the parents questioned, 77% did some work on the weekends, compared to 59% of non-parents. Likewise, more than half of working parents (55%) said they clocked more than eight hours a day, compared to 36% of professionals without children.
Age may also play a role in the number of hours respondents were willing to spend on job duties. Younger employees were more likely to pull extended hours, with 75% of workers between the ages of 25 and 40 saying they usually work weekends, compared to 62% of workers 41 and older. More than half of those aged 25-40 (56%) said they typically work more than eight hours a day, compared to just a third of those 41 and older.
Southeast leads the way in work hours
The survey examined remote working habits in 28 cities, and those in the Southeast had the largest percentage of those reporting longer work days. More than 7 in 10 respondents (71%) in Tampa, Fla. said they typically worked for more than eight hours a day, followed by:
- 60% of Miami workers
- 55% of Raleigh, N.C., workers
- 53% of Phoenix workers
- 51% of Los Angeles workers
- 50% of Austin, Texas, workers
With employees spending so much time on work-related duties while on the job remotely, some may be wondering if their work-life balance might improve once the pandemic is over.
The survey asked human resources managers about the types of work arrangements they will offer to promote employee well-being after the threat of COVID-19 has passed. More than 6 in 10 (61%) said they would offer employees the option of flextime. That was followed by plans to offer:
- compressed workweeks (48%)
- permanent part-time arrangements (47%)
- job-sharing (37%)
Methodology: Robert Half conducted two surveys between July 7, 2020 and Aug. 9, 2020. The first polled 2,800 adult workers at companies with 20 or more employees. The second collected responses from 300 human resources managers at firms with 20 or more employees.