Number of the day: working all the time

Here’s how many employees feel like work never stops due to the recent shift to remote work.
By: | September 4, 2020 • 2 min read


25: Percentage of employees who feel like work never stops when working from home

A quarter of workers say they feel like they’re online 24/7 because of the shift to working from home, according to new data from software firm Zapier.

What it means for HR leaders

The data from Zapier is the latest to paint an unflattering picture of work-life balance during the pandemic.

While many studies have found that the large shift to remote work due to the COVID-19 has largely been successful in terms of employee productivity, this new research finds that for many employees, working from home makes it feel like work never stops. Previous research found that employees are working longer hours during the pandemic.

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Adding to the problem, Zapier also found that employees are reluctant to take time off. A quarter of employees (24%) say it’s hard to justify taking time off from work because they’re already working from home. Worse yet, 13% say they won’t take time off until the pandemic is over.

Related: What to do when workers won’t take their vacation

That startling data, combined with other similar findings, indicates employers and HR leaders would be wise to encourage employees to take time off and take breaks during the day and should help workers find ways to cope with stress.

“People shouldn’t be working to the point of exhaustion,” says Carly Moulton, senior communications specialist at Zapier. “Leaders should take extra care to exercise empathy during this time and set an example by taking time off and encouraging others to do the same.”

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Related: Why are employees scared to take time off?

Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s benefits editor and chair of the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. She has covered benefits for the better part of a decade, and her stories have won multiple awards, including a Jesse H. Neal Award and honors from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the National Federation of Press Women. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Denver. She can be reached at kmayer@lrp.com.