People who are working from home have put in 300 million hours overtime since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This is according to research from Laya Healthcare, which measured the wellbeing of over 1,000 Irish employees.

The Laya findings show that two thirds of employees working from home feel pressure to stay connected after normal hours, with an average of 22 hours put in of overtime per month over the last year.

This overtime is worth €7 billion.

The research also show that 43% of employees are now experiencing frequent stress, up from 31% last July, while 69% of HR leaders said that managing mental wellbeing is now their biggest challenge.

On vaccines, over 70% of survey participants said they believe employees should be vaccinated before returning to work.

Sinéad Proos, Head of Health and Wellbeing at laya healthcare, said that worrying signs of deteriorating morale among employees is becoming evident, partly due to less social interaction with colleagues, the struggle to self-motivate, and having to be always-on. 

"Our latest barometer shows that employee motivation and maintaining organisational culture are becoming more notable issues compared to six months ago, with a greater number of employees now citing the loss of workplace bonding as their top challenge of working from home," Sinead Proos said.

"There is an overwhelming feeling of being stuck in stasis. Some say the hopeful start to 2021 has failed to materialise while almost half of workers feel stuck in their current employment, wanting to change jobs but held back because of lack of opportunities." she said. 

"Employers also indicated that effective communication is a challenge, and this has a real knock-on effect - if workers aren't feeling communicated to, and supported, this can lend itself to the feeling of stagnation," she added.