LinkedIn, the world’s largest online professional network has launched the ‘Future of Work’ perception study by research firm Censuswide that focuses on the insights of 1,108 respondents in the age group of 16 to 68, who have worked from home during the pandemic due to COVID-19 restrictions. The survey captures the sentiment of the Indian workforce towards the impact of remote work, their plans to return to work, and work model preferences for the future. The study dives deep to understand how working remotely is leading to burnout amongst professionals in India and leaving them hopeful for an office reboot. Top findings of the survey reveal that 86% of professionals in India believe that a hybrid work model will help them strike the right balance between their personal and professional lives.
1 in 3 professionals report burnout; 9 in 10 say going hybrid can bring back work-life balance
With a majority of professionals continuing to work remotely, conversations of burnout have increased dramatically across the workforce. The study shows that 1 in 3 professionals in India is burnt out due to increased workload (35%) and stress (34%) while working remotely in India. To shelter from such distressing times, professionals are prioritizing their well-being and finding ways to strike the right balance. In fact, half of India’s workforce believes that work-life balance (52%) is just as important as their salary (52%) today.
Looking into the future, the Indian workforce is convinced that a hybrid work model can alleviate their distress and help them disconnect. The study shows that nearly 9 in 10 (86%) respondents think that hybrid work will positively impact their work-life balance. When asked why, 48% stated that a hybrid model would allow them to spend equal time on their personal goals and professional lives.
“Long-term remote work has left professionals fatigued in India. This has caused a shift in the idea of what is important in our lives and has led to what we call ‘The Great Talent Reshuffle’. Organizations are rethinking their entire work models, culture, and values, while employees are rethinking not just how they work, but why they work. At this time, we encourage companies to explore stronger flexible offerings and more mental health time off, as professionals are now seeking a greater balance and more fulfilment in their lives,” says Ashutosh Gupta, India Country Manager, LinkedIn.
Professionals believe going back to office can boost career growth and financial stability
Hybrid or not, professionals in India are keen to go back to the office. The study shows that more than 7 in 10 (72%) respondents think working from home would negatively impact their career growth while more than half (55%) said their professional learnings had already taken a severe hit. When asked why, more than half (54%) of the workforce stated “less face-time with bosses and leaders”, while one-thirds (34%) said “it gets harder to learn from peers remotely”.
The study further reveals that nearly half (46%) of India’s workforce wants to go back to the office, full time, because it makes them feel more productive and successful in a workplace setting. In fact, 7 in 10 (71%) respondents agree that those who choose to work more from the office are more likely to be favoured by bosses or leaders. 9 in 10 (89%) professionals also think going back to the workplace will help their finances because it’ll allow them to work more hours and make more money.
On a lighter note, the study also finds that 72% want to go back because they don’t want to miss out on the fun while 50% say they simply enjoy being around other people and colleagues.
1 in 2 professionals see silver lining; feel healthier when working remotely
The study shows that more than 9 in 10 (93%) professionals agree that working from home during the pandemic has positively impacted their physical health. Almost 3 in 5 (58%) professionals feel healthier, not eating as much takeaway food, while 1 in 2 (51%) found extra time to exercise more frequently when working remotely. In fact, 2 in 5 professionals say they want to work remotely going forward because it allows them to ‘choose work hours and location’ (42%), and ‘spend more time with their loved ones’ (39%).
Using the hashtag #FindTheBalance, the community on LinkedIn has also sparked conversations on how they feel and how they are finding the balance in this new remote work reality. Vani Kola, Managing Director at Kalaari Capital, shares tips on how she has found the right balance while working from home, “Have something that gives you thinking time and me-time. For me, it's my daily meditation,” she writes. For Ankur Warikoo, Founder Nearbuy.com, a regimented schedule has worked best. He writes, “Having dinner by 6.30 pm, and winding down with family after that; and going to bed by 9.30 pm, that sets up for a balanced next day.”
“The last year and a half has been crazy,” writes marketing and sales professional, Sampark A. Sachdeva. “While work from home has its pros of cutting out the travel time and giving us a little more flexibility, it also has its cons with people now going through WFH Fatigue. Stress, anxiety and uncertainty has become the norm and a lot of us don't even realise it.”