Survey Finds the Biggest Stressors as People Adapt to Working Remotely

To cope, many are now finding time to get outdoors and doing frequent mental health checks.
ByNehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
Mar 2020
mom struggles to work from home on her computer with baby in her lap
Photo: Cavan Images / Getty Images

While working from home can be nice every now and then, when it becomes the new normal, it can be a little bit of an adjustment. Add closed daycares and schools to the mix and that little adjustment becomes a big adjustment. Americans everywhere are trying to navigate new working conditions as we work together to slow the spread of COVID-19. Now, a survey is finding out what the biggest stressors for Americans working from home have become.

The survey was conducted by G&S Business Communications between Friday, March 20 and Saturday, March 21, using data from a sample pool of 1,080 adults aged 18 and over. The sample was balanced for age and gender using the Census Bureau’s data to reflect the demographic composition of the United States. The survey found that 26 percent of Americans who previously worked in a physical location were now working from home, 27 percent continued to go into work and 13 percent have permanently or temporarily lost their jobs.

Of the people working remotely, the biggest challenges were finding ways to exercise (45 percent), setting up the technology they need to work (40 percent), managing time effectively (36 percent) and communicating with colleagues (31 percent). When it comes to working parents, having kids in the house was an added challenge, as 63 percent of parents with kids 18 and younger in the house said it was difficult to both work and keep kids occupied. Meanwhile, 46 percent of parents said they were juggling homeschooling and work.

However, many are also finding new ways to cope with this new normal. The survey found that 53 percent of people took breaks from work every few hours, 42 percent have a dedicated workspace in their home, 35 percent find some time to get outdoors and 20 percent are finding time for meditation and mental health checks.

Of the people who still work in physical locations, 58 percent stated their job was not one that could be done remotely, while 11 percent stated they weren’t worried about catching COVID-19. While 62 percent of people stated their employers encourage social distancing, 52 percent said they found this hard to do.

According to the survey, both groups—remote workers and those working from home—stated they were more concerned about health than economic impact.

While the outbreak has been challenging to navigate for pretty much everyone, there are plenty of ways to boost mental health and productivity during this time. If you’re a parent, check out our tips on how to work from home with kids, as well as our favorite free resources to help keep kids entertained, and if you’re a mom-to-be, check out these expert tips for how to deal with rising anxiety.

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