The coronavirus pandemic has left millions unemployed, but those working from home are working longer hours, attend more meetings, and send more emails.
According to Bloomberg, the telecommuting revolution has meant more work for those still employed. A study of 3.1 million people at more than 21,000 companies across 16 cities in North America, Europe, and the Middle East showed the workday lasted 48.5 minutes longer, the number of meetings increased by about 13%, and people sent an average of 1.4 more emails per day to their colleagues.
In some U.S. cities such as Los Angeles and Chicago, the average length of a workday has returned to pre-coronavirus levels, but in New York, San Jose, and most of Europe, the workday has gotten longer.
“People have adjusted their work patterns,” Jeff Polzer, one of the study’s five co-authors told Bloomberg.
Companies are looking into the impact of working from home on productivity, morale, culture, costs, and other factors to determine how they might modify and improve the process going forward. Researchers who conducted the study, compared employee behavior over two 8-week periods before and after coronavirus lockdowns. The study, which was released in July, did show the workday included more Zoom meetings, but those meetings were shorter than in-office meetings.
Another analysis into working from home looked at virtual private network data and discovered people putting in extra hours and signing in to work at unusual times. Workers who talked to Bloomberg attributed the unusual hours to childcare demands, blurring boundaries between work and home, and the stresses of trying to make headway during an economic recession.
Although many have turned their living rooms and bedrooms into their office, Black and Hispanic Americans have had to continue the rat race since many low-wage positions do not include telecommuting. The inability to telecommute, being forced to take public transportation, and interacting with strangers are among the many reasons Black and Hispanic Americans are dying from coronavirus disproportionately.