In the past year, the world has become reliant on technology to stay connected, which has had a huge impact on the nature of the workforce. It is predicted that 40% of the labour force is currently working remotely or working from home full-time.
The team at Expert Market were interested in how companies have found the switch, and what their plans for the uncertain future are. They surveyed 100 businesses based in North America and Europe from a range of industries and found:
74% of business owners and CEOs surveyed, said all employees at their company are working remotely
Before the pandemic, only 7% of participants said the majority of employees were working remotely
72% anticipated employees will want to remain working from home, even once the organisation returns to the office.
The overwhelming majority of businesses (90%) see some positive benefits in working from home including increased employee engagement and happiness, yet at the same time, 71% said they have witnessed negative impacts, such as a reduction in productivity, difficulty maintaining a work-life balance, and difficulty assessing accountability. 63% of businesses are unsure when their employees will return to the office, but the most anticipated times for returning were towards the end of Q1 2021, or introducing staggered return times. 67% reported using Video Calls and Email to keep in touch with colleagues, followed closely by Slack. Skype, which has seen a fall in popularity over recent years, and was only reported by 12.7% of respondents.
The team put together the research along with remote working stats, case studies, and tips which you can view here. They also created an infographic to display the stats, which you can view below and download here.
We also interviewed business owners and CEOs on both their challenges and positive perceptions of remote working:
Challenge: stifled creativity
Jamie Love from Monumental Marketing commented: “We develop websites and creative assets for our clients. What used to take 10 mins huddled around a table now takes hours over Zoom. We’ve found a nice remedy by setting up a drop-in office in my house where we can come together (when needed and allowed) to increase our productivity”
Challenge: assessing accountability
“It has been a challenge to determine exactly how productive all of my employees are. Creating check-in times and assigning clear deliverables has been very helpful for accountability but that is the toughest part of having my workforce be at home. We have every task assigned in Basecamp to keep things tracked and organized” – Kevin Miller – the word counter
Challenge: Team Innovation
Mark Stephens at Smart Recruit Online told us “There are many impulsive moments during every day at SRO day when ideas are shared spontaneously amongst each part of the business, to validate their potential value. Not only do we lose the flow of ideas and what I call ‘in the moment’ team collaborations, but we also lose some of the cultural essence of what working at SRO is all about, that we cannot replace through video technology”.
Challenge: staying motivated
“In sales, daily check-ins, and weekly pump up meetings are required. It is difficult to know that everyone is excited, doing work, and keeping up with their responsibilities.” – Justin Loncaric of JL Realty Group
Benefit: connecting with true motivation
“Remote working has given us more chance to reconnect with our true motivation, why we do what we do, and refresh that initial spark. This pandemic has simply hardened our resolve in realizing that we always need to be on our toes to be at the forefront of our industry. Someone said to me once, If you’re not the lead dog, the view never changes… COVID-19 has proven that to be so true!” – Aleksandra Horwood – Happy Stance Yoga Therapy
Benefit: a happier workforce
“Having the optionality to work remotely or in-office is key — and having control over your time and being productive when works for you is essential in a happy workforce”. – Alison Bernstein – Suburban Jungle
Benefit: Embedded Trust
“Experiencing our staff’s positive attitude, discipline and commitment during these disruptive times has validated the trust placed in them to adapt and get the job done. In reverse, the employees have entrusted the management team to navigate their way through the crisis and protect everyone’s jobs” Mark Stephens at SRO went on to say.
Other information in the full article:
The changing face of workplace communication stats
The state of workplace communication stats
The importance of good workplace communication: team building, increased trust and loyalty, giving everyone a voice,
Engagement in the workplace: daily standups, regular company communication, using project management software, frequent check-ins
Ella Patenall is a Content Manager for Expert Market, a global resource for business news, product reviews, how-to guides, and all-around small business inspiration. She writes on business communication, digital marketing, and CRM. In her spare time, she writes a music blog and plays guitar in an alternative-folk duo.
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