In March 2020, at the start of the pandemic and lockdown in the UK, James Edmondson, wrote a personal reflection on adjusting to working from home. He talked of the “low-level, chronic anxiety” he felt at being away from his desk at any point.
While, as a society, we have started to get used to long-term remote working by now, there are still challenges that individuals face everyday. For some, there is this worry about not being seen to be working. Statistically, we know that we tend to work longer hours when we are based at home. An Owl labs report in 2021 found 55% of respondents say they work more hours remotely than at the office. This ONS report finds those who work from home are generally doing at least 6 hours unpaid overtime a week compared to only 3.6 hours for those who never work at home.
Remote work expert, Rowena Hennigan, says she has seen people operate with unhealthy boundaries due to underlying fears about how they are perceived to be working and performing.
“I worked with one girl who set up an imaginary meeting with herself on the Teams system so it looked as if she was having a meeting so she could justify taking a break.”
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