Data shows extent of impact telework on employees

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Thousands of Pennsylvanians have shifted to work from home over the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Like a lot of folks, myself included, I teach in person. And you know, learning zoom and other forms of technology was a struggle,” said Eddy Ng, a management professor at Bucknell University.

Professor Ng is part of the team that put a survey and research together to analyze at what a year of working from home has done to the workforce.

“What people found was that they were able to achieve a great level of efficiency working from home.”

Sixty-three percent of people who responded to that survey said that they were required to work from home.

But what it also found was that millennials up to the age of 40 were actually more likely to want to resume their typical commute.

“That was a bit of a spillover between family life family demand over work demands,” Ng said.

No matter what age group you fit into, we’re going to start seeing more and more people working from home. The next challenge is how do you strike that work life balance?

“It has definitely been an eye opener as to what our students and our community is going through,” said Debra Passarella, a counselor at Luzerne County Community College.

Passarella says that she sees this all the time with community college students tending to skew older, have families, as well as taking online courses.

She says anything that you can do to compartmentalize family responsibilities, work and that home life is going to make things easier.

“You’re never going to allow yourself to get the space to process and move forward. If you’re not maintaining healthy work boundaries.”

As for what’s coming down the road, the survey is still open. But working remotely is something Professor Ng says isn’t going away.

But as kids go back to school and vaccines are rolled out, he says, “we do anticipate that the productivity that is reported, which is already good, will show significant increase when there’s less family demands spilling over into work.”

A majority of respondents to the survey who have been working remotely say their employers have given them adequate technical support.

Passarella says even if that’s working out, always make time to do things you like to break up the time and to reach out to friends and colleagues who may be struggling.

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