More project professionals are working remotely now than during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the vast majority say they're happy with current working arrangements, according to a new poll by APM.
To mark International Week of Happiness at Work (25-29 September), APM polled over 900 UK-based project professionals, using research company Censuswide, and found that most (78%) say their employer offers fully remote or hybrid working policies. This compares with a similar poll carried out in the autumn of 2021, when only 52% said they were working remotely or in a hybrid manner.
When asked how they felt about their current way of working, the majority (82%) of project managers said they're happy or very happy with their organisation's ways of working, whether this be fully remote (39% of respondents), a hybrid model (39%) or office/site based full time (22%). Just 4% say they were unhappy with the arrangements and 14% who said they were neither happy nor unhappy.
Of the survey respondents who said they were unhappy with their current arrangements, 63% said they would like a hybrid working model but with more days in the office/on-site seeing colleagues, 16% who said hybrid working but with more days working from home and 11% whose preference would be either fully remote - the same percentage said they would prefer to be fully back in the office/on site.
Rosemary Mathews, Director of People Strategy and Facilities at APM, yesterday said:
“It is interesting to see that more project professionals are working remotely than during the pandemic, and that the majority are happy with their current working arrangements. A healthy work-life balance is paramount to employee happiness and wellbeing and can bring plenty of benefits to the individuals and the delivery of projects.
“APM used to have a strong office-based culture but we have undergone a complete transformation, mostly because of the pandemic, and the flexibility we now offer is highly appreciated by our employees.”
As part of its study, APM also asked how project professional's work and main projects are impacting their mental health, and found 71% of respondents agreed with the statement ‘working on my main project has negatively affected my mental wellbeing', and 23% of these who strongly agreed with this.
Among men whose main project has negatively affected their mental wellbeing, the most common reason or impact given was the attitude and/or approach to work of their manager or superior (cited by 37% of respondents), and 35% who said their main project is impacting their home life and personal relationships. For women, the biggest impact was home life and personal relationships (39%) followed by work-life balance suffering due to their main project (31%) and manager's attitude or approach (30%).
So what are companies doing to help support mental health and wellbeing of employees? The study found that 40% of respondents said their organisation builds a supportive work culture, 38% encourage flexible working, 36% provide mental health first aiders, 38% have regular one to ones with line managers and 34% who say their company invests in training for staff around mental health and wellbeing.
See here for further information on APM and its approach to employee wellbeing.