After a year when more people have been working from home, employees are reporting improved relationships with their partners, amid other findings in a survey from whiteboarding platform provider Miro.
Brad Sanzenbacher, strategic storytelling lead at Miro, said the survey by YouGov quizzed 1000 knowledge-worker respondents on relationships with their teammates and families.
“We also looked at employee engagement, particularly in virtual meetings. Finally, we examined the impact this year has made on employee work/life balance and mental health,” he said.
Nearly half (49%) of people who were married or in live-in partnerships said that working from home had improved their relationship with their spouse or partner, while 62% of parents with children under 18 said that working from home has improved those relationships.
Many also appear to be potentially getting more sleep — with a third (33%) reporting that they are now typically awake for less than 20 minutes before their job starts. The importance of rest and sleep to performance and productivity has been well documented, in news reports and research alike.
Twenty-eight percent of respondents said their relationship with their manager had improved. Just 12% indicated their relationship with their boss had deteriorated as a result of remote working.
Sanzenbacher said the freedom to work remotely might inspire people to move closer to their non-cohabiting family. Nearly half (47%) of survey respondents said they were at least “somewhat likely” to relocate to a different region if remote work is made permanent, with the number one reason “to be closer to family and friends”.
However, 22% said relationships with colleagues outside their team had worsened, with about the same share saying these had improved (21%).
This may indicate the watercooler conversations thought to benefit innovation could be another victim of the pandemic, according to Miro.
In addition, virtual meetings could be failing to drive sustainable levels of engagement.
“Our survey found these meetings frequently suffer from distracted attendees, and over half (57%) say they are more likely to multitask during virtual meetings while working from home than they were before the pandemic,” Sanzenbacher wrote.