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White-Collar Workers Logging Three More Hours Per Day During Pandemic Lockdown

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

While nearly 27 million American workers have lost their jobs over the past five weeks – and millions more are coping with reduced hours, desk jockeys forced to work from home (WFH) amid the coronavirus pandemic are logging three more hours per day on the clock, according to Bloomberg.

A month and a half later, people are overworked, stressed, and eager to get back to the office. In the U.S., homebound employees are logging three hours more per day on the job than before city and state-wide lockdowns, according to data from NordVPN -Bloomberg

According to NordVPN, US workers are logging the most additional hours, while those in France, Spain and the UK are tracking at about two extra hours per day. Italy saw no change at all.

NordVPN's findings are echoed by other VPN providers such as Surfshark, which has seen spikes in activity between midnight to 3 a.m. which weren't happening before the COVID-19 outbreak.

And sure, there's an argument to be made that people are less productive working from home while they polish off bottles of Jameson or take COVID-defying bong-rips, early data suggest that productivity is up – at least at some companies.

"We’ve seen, anecdotally, some increases in productivity for some of our developers as they’re hunkered and focused at home," said bank of New York Mellon CFO, Mike Santomassimo.

At JPMorgan, where 70% of the bank’s quarter-million employees are working remotely, productivity has gone up for certain types of jobs as workers spend less time going to meetings, attending town halls or completing training sessions, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. A JPMorgan spokesperson declined to comment.

An internal case study at Publicis Sapient, an IT consulting company that tracked work by 410 employees on roughly 40 tech-focused projects for a large New York-based investment bank also found a productivity bump. Between March 16 and April 10, tasks were completed at either the same rate or faster than those before the crisis.

Huda Idrees, the chief executive officer of Dot Health, a Toronto-based technology startup, confirms her 15 employees are working, on average, 12-hour days, up from 9 hours pre-pandemic. “We’re at our computers very early because there’s no commute time,” she said. “And because no one is going out in the evenings, we’re also always there.” -Bloomberg

"When you’re virtual you’re less distracted—nobody’s disappearing for coffee for a while or going and disappearing to socialize," said Dave Donovan – head of the Americas global financial-services practicis for Publicis Sapient. "Clients are more reachable too."

Boundary issues and expectations

Another factor adding to the stress of working from home (which is, of course, far preferable to unemployment), is that there's no escape from 'the office.' Without an excuse for being unavailable, people feel like they have to be 'on' all the time for co-workers and bosses.

At Toronto-based Constellation Software, over 100 employees received an email from a superior which read "Don’t get distracted because you are on your own. It is easy to get into bad habits, the lure of the internet, the endless box sets. Just think, would I do this in the office? If it’s a no, don’t do it."

"You know we will be watching closely," wrote the same manager in an earlier email.

Burnt out

According to a survey of 1,001 US employees by Eagle Hill Consulting, around 45% of workers said they were burnt out by early April – with nearly half attributing the burnout to an increased workload, and the challenge of maintaining a work-life balance.

Meanwhile, 2/3 of HR professionals surveyed by the Society for Human Resource Management report that maintaining employee morale has proven difficult amid the global pandemic.

And in what seems like an obvious finding, those who live in smaller quarters are also at risk of developing high blood pressure vs. people with extra rooms they can turn into an office, according to NYU associate professor of psychology, Tessa West.

"I honest to goodness am wearing the exact same outfit that I started with on Monday," said Intel VP and general manager of US sales and marketing, Rachel Mushahwar. "I think I’ve showered three times."


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