A new study has warned of the dangers of burning out employees who work from home. 

Vast swathes of the global population reverted to WFH to combat the coronavirus pandemic, a development which can have benefits for work/life balance. 

However Adaptavist surveyed 2,800 knowledge workers from across the UK, USA, Canada and Australia for its Digital Etiquette study and identified threats to long-term productivity and employee wellbeing posed by improvised solutions. 

Overall, 82% of people reported they are equally (47%) if not more productive (35%) working from home, and company-wide communications have improved during the pandemic. 

Among the key benefits to the transition were ‘learning we can be more flexible in how we work’ and ‘working in a more agile fashion with faster decision-making’, along with a reduction in office politics. 

However the absence of boundaries between work and personal lives was the highest ranked threat to motivation for employees. 

The ‘always-on nature’ of digital communications (42%) and the ‘number of channels I have to check’ (31%) were seen as the greatest sources of stress and frustration in work-related communications. 

For 26% switching off from work was the greatest challenge. Temptations to keep working (cited by 15%) seem to be a bigger problem than pressure from others (11%). 60% of respondents don’t switch off notifications after work. One in three workers (33%) is now using WhatsApp for work.

“Highperforming teams embody mastery, autonomy and purpose, so it’s natural that people adopt the tools that have proven to work well in their personal lives when faced with new challenges in their professional lives,” said Simon Haighton-Williams, CEO of Adaptavist.  

However, organising the chaos and confusion between these channels is key to maximising the benefits they bring.”