45% of remote workers want a four-day week

New research by Instant Offices has revealed the mental health impact of working remotely and the perks employees are demanding to alleviate it; with flexible hours and a shorter working week coming out top.

According to the data, nearly two-thirds (59%) of respondents said they wanted flexible hours to help them cope, and the second placed benefit was demand for a four-day week; the preferred option for nearly half (45%) of respondents.

The research revealed the extent to which employees are struggling with working remotely, with the warning that if employers do not do something about it, they could also be facing a mental health epidemic.

The data suggested that an estimated 828,000 workers are now suffering from the signs of work-related stress and/or anxiety and depression.

The research found that the difficulties workers face included not feeling like they were able to unplug from work (by 27% of respondents); having difficulties communicating to their peers/managers (16%); feeling lonely (16%) and having distractions at home (15%).

In addition to this, one in eight (12%) said they were having difficulty staying motivated.

The most-requested perk by employees shows that they want to feel like they have more control over their working lives, with the top five wants also including having fewer meetings (from 33% of those polled) and having mental health days (from 32%).

Lee Chambers, environmental psychologist and wellbeing trainer, said: “Managers need to be more conscious of the challenges different households face. Encouraging flexibility, self-care, and regular check-ins is key to reducing stress.

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“Now is a perfect time for business’ encourage morning catch-ups, remote Friday drinks, yoga sessions or training sessions. This is a great way to keep employees engaged and busy.”

Only last week, affiliate marketing network, Awin revealed how successful its four-day working trial had become.