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Staff working from home have less stress and are more productive but miss colleagues, study finds

A German study has found that staff working from home suffer less stress and are more productive but they miss their colleagues.  

The study by the IGES research institute surveyed 7,000 employees’ attitudes towards home working in Germany before and during the coronavirus outbreak. 

They found people reported less stress, were more productive, and that they found it easier to maintain family relationships in the working from home model.  

75 per cent were so pleased with the new working practice they said they’d like to continue after the pandemic. 

However, almost half of those surveyed said they found it tough having their professional duties invading their personal space. 

Almost three quarters said they missed in-person contact with their colleagues. 

According to the study, the amount of people who often experienced stress from their work dropped from 21 per cent to 15 per cent after ‘home office’, which is the term for home working in Germany, was enforced across the country. 

Those who rarely or never feel stress also rose by almost 10 per cent, from 48 per cent to 57 per cent. 

‘Working from home not only reduces the risk of viral infections, but also pays off in terms of mental health,’ said Andreas Storm, head of DAK health insurer, who funded the study. 

He added that companies should consider the findings of the study when thinking about how to reintegrate the workforce into the office environment after the pandemic, while keeping in mind the negative findings.  

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