Report: The boredom of telecommuting in the Covid era affects young adults the most

Employees in Finland experienced more and more feelings of boredom and symptoms of exhaustion during the Covid crisis due to the ongoing teleworking situation, says the results of a study by the National Institute of Occupational Health.

The Institute’s regular survey, the so-called "How can Finland" (approximately, "how Finland feels ”), found that teleworking arrangements over a period of one and a half years had increased the negative effects, especially among those under 36 years of age.

At the same time, the feeling of boredom and exhaustion among workers aged 36 years or older increased only slightly during the study period.

Specialist researcher at the institute, Janne Kaltiainen, said that extensive telework affected workers in different ways.

"For some, the workload and associated rush may have increased, while for others, the additional burden may have been due to reduced job descriptions and teleworking from colleagues due to prolonged teleworking. Both factors can increase negative experiences at work and negative attitudes to work. At the same time, there are still clearly more positive emotions and excitement associated with work," Like said in his press release.

Boredom boom

By Jari Hakanen, a research professor at the institute, the clearest change in well – being among the workers surveyed was an increase in boredom.

"Especially for people who do a lot of telecommuting, work may have provided extra stimulation in the form of continuous video conferencing and sub-stimulation in the form of repetitive workdays and the absence of people who genuinely meet. When making immediate post-Covid-19 work arrangements, the workplace should take into account that a sufficient amount of clerical work seems important to find meaningful work," Hakanen said.

Hybrid arrangements

The researchers found that people who did their work on a hybrid basis — that is, a combination of telecommuting and on-site employment — felt more engaged and less bored.

The study also showed that co-workers trusted each other more when working on hybrid arrangements.

"The well-being of management staff has remained at a good level during the pandemic. This may have been a factor in maintaining trust in management and the workplace, whether office, teleworking or hybrid work," Hakanen said.

The "How can Finland" The results of the research project were based on an analysis of data collected by the economic research survey company, which is work commissioned by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. A total of 542 people of working age participated in the initial surveys, which were conducted every six months from December 2019 until June 2021.

This was followed by follow-up surveys of randomly selected employees with data from approximately 1,500 respondents at the end of 2019 and approximately 1,400 respondents in the summer of 2021.

"In this way, the study was able to gather more detailed information on the situation of different groups of respondents, such as young people, over a period of time," according to researchers.

Source: The Nordic Page


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