Three-quarters (77 per cent) of employees believe remote and hybrid working has improved their overall well-being, according to a survey by Cisco Systems Inc.

The survey, which polled 28,000 full-time employees across the globe, found six in 10 employees who switched to remote working during the coronavirus pandemic reported improvements in their quality of work (61 per cent) and productivity (60 per cent). More than half of respondents also saw greater levels of self-improvement in job knowledge (59 per cent) and in working relationships and attitude (51 per cent).

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More than three-quarters (78 per cent) of respondents felt their work-life balance had improved over the past two years. Among these respondents, 62 per cent attributed the improvement to more flexible work schedules, while another 52 per cent cited reduced — or completely removed — commuting times as a major factor. Indeed, nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) of respondents said they saved at least four hours per week in a hybrid work setting and a quarter (25 per cent) noted they saved eight or more hours per week. And more than three-quarters said they saved at least four hours a week by eliminating office interactions such as team activities and watercooler chats.

Employees used this additional time by spending it with their families, friends and pets (44 per cent) or on self care (20 per cent). However, 70 per cent also said they experienced difficulty switching off from work and this percentage was consistent across all levels of seniority and age groups.

While two-thirds (68 per cent) said their mental well-being has improved, just 42 per cent noted their social well-being has improved and a third (33 per cent) said it hasn’t changed. Nonetheless, despite the strain of meeting work responsibilities while caring for school-aged children during periods of government lockdowns and restrictions, roughly three-quarters (73 per cent) of respondents found remote working has improved family relationships and half (50 per cent) also reported strengthened relationships with friends.

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Overall, eight in 10 (82 per cent) respondents said the ability to work from anywhere has made them happier and more than half (54 per cent) said hybrid working has decreased their stress levels, citing factors such as relaxing work environment (29 per cent), greater flexibility (27 per cent) and having more time to invest in personal relationships (24 per cent).

However, one in five (22 per cent) also said their stress levels had increased. Among these respondents, 41 per cent said the remote working environment itself has affected their performance, while another 36 per cent cited balancing work and personal time.

Nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) said working away from the office has made work a more fulfilling experience and more than half (55 per cent) of respondents said hybrid working has led to increased self-esteem and confidence. Moreover, respondents said the ability to work remotely made them happier and more motivated and as a result, 61 per cent noted they’re less likely to look for a new role.

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