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Pressures mount on managers as November lockdown reignites concerns about mental health and productivity

 A vast majority of managers (75%) faced challenges with employees when working remotely, causing concerns within businesses preparing for the second UK lockdown.

The finding comes as part of research commissioned by Ricoh, who recently surveyed views from 1,300 office employees and managers across the country. As well as highlighting general concerns such as productivity and process, the research also highlighted several divides in attitudes between managers and employees.

Middle management feedback that they are struggling to cope with issues such as technology adoption and security, process development, staff mental health and wellbeing and workplace set-up. For employees, happiness, motivation and productivity are cited as the biggest challenges both in remote and blended working environments.

Phil Keoghan, CEO of Ricoh UK & Ireland said: “We wanted to conduct this research to examine exactly how people across the country are feeling towards work and highlight where their specific concerns lie. The most interesting finding was the disproportion between managers and employees experience which highlights a breakdown in company culture and communication.”

To delve deeper into the psychology behind the findings, Ricoh collaborated with Emma Kenny, a renowned behavioural psychologist and speaker.

Emma Kenny said: “Never before has the workplace experienced such a systemic shift in such a short space of time. While the challenges have been exponential, they have also been met in ways few could have imagined 12 months ago. Now it is time for employers to address the concerns of employees head-on and focus on what makes happy, healthy and productive.”

Other key research findings included:

  • Happiness, motivation and productivity are cited as the biggest challenges for managers (40%) and employees working remotely (30%)
  • 34% of managers are concerned that employees find processes more time consuming when working remotely
  • Almost 3/4 of managers are grappling with technical concerns in the workplace, whereas almost half (48%) have had technical concerns back in the workplace
  • More than 4/5 of returned managers are experiencing workplace concerns Vs. 3/4 of returned employees have concerns about the physical workplace
  • 70% of employees have challenges being back in the office, and over 4/5 managers who have returned are facing challenges