Tens of thousands of posts and comments were made about working from home, and millions of Romanians could read about the topic – until the end of May, by which time it lost most of its novelty.
Most Romanians withdrew to the confines of their homes in March as the pandemic broke out, and everyone who could, started working remotely (and spending even more time in front of screens than usual). Social media stats, as we already know, broke new records, and within the sea of posts and articles, the phenomenon of home office was one of the most discussed topics.
To investigate this, Neticle, a company that monitors and analyses online content, collected mentions of home office and working from home between the 1st of March to the 31st of May on the Romanian web. During these three months, there have been more than 46 thousand mentions of the topic, with an abrupt rise around the 6th of March. The number of mentions then stayed at a high level throughout March and the first half of April, and then slowly started declining and only recently arrived back to its previous level.
On several days, the number of mentions of home office was around 1000
The day of the highest number of mentions and the highest number of interactions (likes, comments and shares together) is the same, the 11th of March, showing how at the outbreak of the virus, home office was really widely discussed. Those interactions are the result of many posts, not just one or two hugely popular ones. After about a week, interaction numbers significantly decreased though and – while mentions remained high – they dropped to around 5000 interactions a day (which is still quite a lot, of course).
Interactions significantly decreased after about a week or two
It is therefore not surprising that two of the most engaging posts (e. g. with the highest number of interactions) were made during March. The first is this one on the 15th of March by the Ministry of National Defence, who posted about the nationwide regulations. The other is about charity actions, posted by Casa Share on the 24th of March. They mentionedthat Endava in Iași donated the fruit they normally would have given to their employees because they were all working from home anyway. The ministry also created an engaging post on the 12th of April, answering all the frequently asked questions about regulations, including working from home.
The number of users who were potentially reached by the posts mentioning home office was well above 10 million on several days, but over 5 million almost every day! Reach numbers also slowly declined from the second half of April, though this tendency was a bit more drawn out.
The highest reach peak was 16 million on the 19th of March
Home office is of course a controversial topic, and as it is now tied to the pandemic, a certain amount of negativity seems almost guaranteed. This definitely showed up in the mentions: negativity outweighed positivity on just about one fifth of the days in this three-month period.
The mood was mostly positive but, on a few days, negative opinions heavily showed up
The biggest negative drop in the mood was on May 15th after Gabriela Fiera, the mayor of Bucharest posted about irresponsible gatherings, stating that many of the anti-pandemic efforts – including working from home – were in vain because of them. Another politician, Victor Ponta complained on April 20th that while people in Romania weren’t allowed to go to work, poor workers could fly to Germany to pick asparagus without any COVID protection. Both posts generated huge debate in the comments.
There were lots of posts around the 27th of April, too, when it was announced that kindergartens and schools would remain closed until September. The conversation here had both positive and negative remarks, though the topic is of course difficult and some asked what would happen to families where parents did not have home office available to them. Lorand Soares Szasz highlighted both the joy and the difficulty of working from home as an entrepreneur with kids, while a journalist, Andreea Berecleanu urged to enjoy spring even while working from home.
Neticle’s intelligent media- and text analyser tool searches the internet (articles, forums, social media posts, comments) for any brand’s or product’s public mentions, then analyses the collected mentions with the help of its algorithm, nearly with human precision. The company was founded in 2012 but is now present on the market of 12 countries. Besides the media analyser, Neticle also offers a survey tool and two APIs to clients.