Majority of Finnish employees satisfied with teleworking during COVID-19 epidemic: survey
NNN: The majority of Finnish workers were satisfied with remote working during the COVID-19 epidemic, showed a survey published on Monday and conducted by the multidisciplinary Fast Expert Teams network, which is formed by experts from several Finnish universities and research institutions.
The poll collected replies of around 5,500 people. In the survey carried out between March 26 and April 15, about 65 percent of respondents were satisfied with teleworking, 54 percent with their own productivity, and 42 percent with their work-life balance.
In addition, 66 percent of the respondents thought that there were fewer interruptions and disruptions in teleworking than in the workplace. 72 percent of them felt that they could focus on their work as well or better than in the workplace.
Shifting to telecommuting has aroused a wide range of feelings among Finnish employees. In the public sector, in particular, most workers have switched well to remote working and feel efficient, effective and productive. At the same time, however, some workers found teleworking in many ways cumbersome, inefficient and socially isolating, according to a press release on the survey issued by the University of Eastern Finland on Monday.
“Teleworking, at its best, allows employees to focus and schedule work flexibly. However, it requires adaptation,” said Kirsimarja Blomqvist, Professor of information management at the Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology (LUT), in the press release.
However, for some people, remote working is challenging, as they had not been prepared for teleworking and there may also have been schoolchildren who needed support and also a spouse working remotely, explained Blomqvist.
Some respondents found teleworking in many ways awkward, inefficient, and socially isolating. Teleworkers also missed co-workers. 74 percent of respondents felt negative about being separated from co-workers. More than half of the respondents felt isolated and longed for co-workers.
“By investing in working conditions, work tasks, communication, training and management, teleworking is an opportunity for many knowledge workers and organizations,” said Blomqvist, adding that at the best, everyone wins, meaning there are both savings and productivity and well-being.
Researchers in the Fast Expert Teams network believe that teleworking will become more common after the COVID-19 crisis. It is therefore important to develop teleworking conditions in workplaces and to train employees on how technology can be used for different work tasks in an appropriate way.
According to Finnish national broadcaster Yle reports earlier, a total of about one million Finns work remotely during the epidemic. A recent study made by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) indicated that Finland has the biggest and the quickest shift to telecommuting in the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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