Silicon Valley workers feeling increasingly anxiety during Covid-19 (Survey)

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Silicon Valley workers feeling increasingly anxiety during Covid-19 (Survey)
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As we move away from the initial panicked reaction, deeper emotions begin to settle in. The reality of digital interactions is becoming the new normal. So much so that Walmart said it’s seen a boom in sales for tops but not for bottoms as our new collective work dress code is strictly waist-up. While zoom happy hours, embarrassing work from home stories, and pantless dress codes have made the situation more light-hearted, social distancing has real emotional implications.

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Mental health is becoming a more significant national concern as more Americans are forced to remain isolated away from loved ones and support systems. On Blind, an anonymous professional network, with 3.2M verified users; there was an influx of posts regarding COVID-19, layoffs, and other challenges tied to the pandemic. We wanted to gauge the platform’s emotional well being in terms of their anxiety levels, feelings of loneliness, and productivity during social distancing.

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Key Findings(DATA) as 3/24-3/30(10,107 Responses): 

  • Are you experiencing increased loneliness during work from home and social distancing?
    • 52.9% of professionals answered yes
      • 52.3% of Apple professionals are feeling increasingly lonely 
        • 50% of Intel professionals
        • 58.1% of Facebook
  • Are you experiencing increased feelings of anxiety during work from home and social distancing?
    • 56.4% of professionals answered yes
      • 44.7% of Apple professionals are feeling increasingly anxious 
        • 49.2% of Capital One
        • 62.5% of Salesforce
        • 61.2% of Linkedin
  • Have your productivity levels been impacted due to changes in your mental health while working from home?
    • 53% of professionals answered yes
      • 69.7% of Facebook have had their productivity levels impacted 
        • 64.3% of Google
        • 57% of Amazon

Increasingly anxious or lonely?

These statistics have stories behind them. An anonymous professional at Cisco states, “Most of the folks have now spent enough time to digest what social distancing means. Now that reality is accepted, we need creative ways to occupy yourself.”

In terms of productivity, working from home has made it difficult for some professionals to strike a work-life balance. An anonymous professional at Nintendo  offers a different opinion “I end up doing way more hours so positive for my employer.”

Unfortunately, the most concerning trend is the increased anxiety among professionals. An anonymous professional at Paypal discloses their struggles with extreme anxiety. Other users jumped in and offered advice as to how they are coping, including running, getting sunlight, and interacting with loved ones from a social distance.

The truth is business will remain muted, and much of the population will operate from their homes for the foreseeable future. With more than half of professionals feeling increasingly anxious, lonely, and struggling with productivity, what can we do as peers, colleagues, friends, and bosses to help make this “new normal” emotionally healthy? What could the pandemic mean for professionals in the short-term? Do these sentiments require a re-evaluation of work/life priorities? And the final question looking forward: in the post-COVID-19 world, what moments will gain new emotional resonance, what will matter to professionals?

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Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of ValueWalk.com, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and four kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at)valuewalk.com - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities anymore to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own a few grams of Gold and Silver

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