One in five (20%) European workers has confessed to participating in a virtual meeting from the comfort of their bed, according to a recent study conducted by Opinium Europe.
The research, part of Opinium’s Future of Work Report, collected insights from 9,400 workers across Europe, shedding light on various aspects of modern work habits and challenges.
The report highlights that this practice is particularly prevalent among Danish workers, with 31 percent admitting to attending virtual meetings from their beds. Swiss workers follow closely at 28 percent, while 22 percent of Spanish workers have also opted for this unconventional work setup.
Meanwhile, the trend is slightly less popular in the UK and Ireland, where 19 percent of workers have taken meetings from under their duvet. The Netherlands and Sweden report similar figures at 18 percent.
In contrast, only 13 percent of French workers have adopted this cozy approach, with Germany and Italy following closely at 17 percent.
They’ve also admitted to drinking alcohol during
In addition to bed-based meetings, the study reveals that 19 percent of European workers have consumed alcoholic beverages while working from home. Danish workers lead in this category as well, with 29 percent admitting to drinking on the job. Swiss workers come next at 28 percent, followed by UK workers at 22 percent. Conversely, just 8 percent of Swedish workers admit to indulging in alcohol while working remotely.
The report also delves into the issue of workplace appearance. It found that 26 percent of European workers feel pressured by their employers to maintain a specific appearance at work. Denmark leads in this regard with 38 percent of workers feeling such pressure, followed by Switzerland at 33 percent and France at 30 percent. In contrast, only 14% of Swedish workers report feeling pressured to adhere to a dress code.
Furthermore, 19 percent of European workers feel compelled by their employers to consume alcohol during client or social events, with Denmark and Switzerland leading at 29 percent.
What about mental health?
In terms of mental health conversations at work, male workers across Europe are found to be just as comfortable as their female counterparts when requesting time off for mental health reasons, with 40 percent of men and 37 percent of women feeling at ease discussing this topic. However, 23 percent of men report feeling uncomfortable discussing mental health with their boss, compared to 30 percent of women. Notably, 22 percent of men have admitted to lying to their boss about taking time off for mental health reasons, whereas only 16 percent of women have done the same.
Conversely, when it comes to salary negotiations and promotions, a gender disparity remains. A significant 39 percent of men feel comfortable asking for a pay raise, compared to just 28 percent of women. Men also appear more at ease discussing promotions with their superiors, with 37 percent expressing comfort compared to only 27 percent of women.
Emily Dickinson, Head of Opinium Europe, commented on the findings, saying:
“Hybrid working is now the norm in most European workplaces, and clearly many workers are using this to their advantage and taking meetings where they feel most comfortable – literally. Yet some workers still don’t feel entirely comfortable in their workplace, with many feeling under pressure to look or behave in a certain way.
“And while it’s positive to see that the gender gap around speaking about mental health has shrunk, there are still some subjects that female employees feel less comfortable speaking to their boss about than men do. As leaders strive to build inclusive workplaces, these are clearly areas they should look to address.”
The Opinium Future of Work Report offers valuable insights into the evolving dynamics of the modern workplace, highlighting areas where employers and organisations can focus on creating a more inclusive and supportive environment for all employees.
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.