Remote employees miss social interaction and the instant share of ideas

Remote work is challenging for most Romanians who have worked from home in the current epidemiological context. Only 13% of them say they have a dedicated workspace at home, half compared to employees in Central and Eastern European (CEE), according to a study conducted by Colliers International among countries in the region, including Romania.

In this context, most feel isolated and miss meetings with colleagues, even if work from home has meant a better work-life balance for some.

In absence of an office or a dedicated workspace at home, 45% of Romanians say that the living room is the main area where they carry out their work activities, as is the case for half of respondents from Central and Eastern Europe. As a result, 40% of respondents say that they have difficulties working remote and feel that sometimes they have low concentration because they carry out professional activities in the same space where their children carry out school or fun activities.

From home, half of the Romanian respondents to the Colliers International study admit that they feel isolated from their colleagues and only 27% still feel connected to the team. In contrast, in Central and Eastern European countries the situation is exactly the opposite – 62% of respondents say they are equally connected to the team even when working remote and only 29% feel isolated.

Spontaneous meetings with colleagues are what lack most to employees working remote from the region (68%). In Romania, however, 75% of respondents lack especially the physical interaction with colleagues during a working day.

For 67%, the lack of clear separation between their professional and personal life is most challenging and only 42% indicate spontaneous meetings with colleagues among the aspects they lack the most when working from home.

The work-life balance has improved

Even so, Romanians continued to work efficiently. Most respondents (CEE – 51%, Romania – 54%) consider that they remained equally productive during the remote working period, and for 21% of the respondents from CEE and 23% of those from Romania productivity even increased. At the same time, 44% of Romanian respondents say their work-life balances improved since their home became their workplace, a higher percentage than that recorded in Central and Eastern European countries.

Most companies that are now focusing on remote work have already implemented the “work from home” concept in the pre-pandemic period. Specifically, both in Central and Eastern Europe and in Romania, over 60% of respondents were occasionally working from home before the current context, while 31% of those interviewed in Romania and 23% in countries in the region say they didn’t work at all remotely before.

The study was conducted in March-April in 25 countries where Collies International operates, by collecting data online among nearly 4,400 respondents, including about a quarter of Central and Eastern European countries.

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