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TRENDS

Work from home is burning out Indians—but they still don’t want to go back to the office

Work from home-India-Covid
REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
A tight schedule.
  • Prathamesh Mulye
By Prathamesh Mulye

Writer, banking and economy

While working from home in a country like India can have big advantages, the trend, which picked up due to the Covid-19 outbreak, is “negatively impacting wellbeing.”

Around one-third of Indians have been feeling more burnt out over the last six months, according to Microsoft’s Work Trend index. “India had the second-highest percentage of workers facing increased burnout in Asia at 29%,” Microsoft said based on a survey that included 6,000 workers from eight countries.

A majority of companies in India made work from home mandatory from March 25 when the Narendra Modi government announced nationwide Covid-19 lockdowns. Even as the lockdowns have been lifted in most parts of the country, several companies continue to allow staff to operate remotely to curb the spread of coronavirus. Some offices have re-opened partially with strict guidelines in place.

Separating work and home

Over 40% of workers in India said they are increasingly under stress due to the lack of separation between work and personal life, according to the survey released on Oct. 7.

This could be due to the fact that Indians have the longest working day.

Microsoft Work Trend Index
The rise of working hours.

Indians are also stressed because they feel isolated.

Around 35% of the respondents from India said they feel disconnected from their colleagues due to the work from home situation.

Despite all the stress, many Indians are not willing to go to work. Over 40% of the respondents said they are worried that they might contract Covid-19 if they start going back to work.

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