Research: How to successfully navigate the technical and management challenges of a remote workforce
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, working remotely has become the new normal for many professionals. The workplace has shifted from open floor plans to kitchen tables; video calls have replaced meetings in conference rooms, and dressing in sweats has become our business casual uniform of choice.
TechRepublic Premium recently surveyed 847 professionals and asked them questions pertaining to working remotely to see where businesses got it right–and wrong.
The survey asked the following questions:
- How many days do you currently work remotely (at home or at a non-company- owned location) during a normal five-day workweek?
- How would you describe your company’s execution of its current remote work approach?
- What safety protocols has your company implemented for the office?
- What has your company done well as part of its remote work approach?
- What has your company done poorly as part of its remote work approach?
- What types of platforms have you depended on the most for remote work?
- How have you changed your connectivity to make working from home possible?
As a result of COVID-19, a majority (61%) of businesses have gone out of their way to make remote work possible for most employees. According to respondents, 78% indicated that they are working from home five days a week. Five percent work remotely for either four or three days a week, 4% work remotely two days a week, and 2% of respondents work remotely one day a week. Only 6% said they do not work remotely; of those respondents, 61% would work remotely, if given the opportunity.
The majority (96%) of respondents said their company either very successfully or successfully executed its remote work approach. Some of the top ways employers are making it easier for employees to work remotely is by providing conferencing tools (81%), computer hardware (74%), and connectivity tools such as VPN or cellular devices (73%).
This is a good thing since 80% of respondents reported depending on video conferencing platforms (such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams) for remote work. Cloud-based office suites for collaboration (such as Google Workspace or Office 365) are necessary for 63% of respondents to work remotely, and for 57%, VPN is essential. Cloud storage followed as a necessity for 46% of respondents, and then respondents listed team tools (such as Slack) at 33%. Fewer respondents require project management tools (13%), private cloud solutions (7%), and team management tools (5%).
Where employers fall short, according to respondents, is supplying hardware (56%) and providing equipment to help employees create an effective remote workspace (52%). In addition, 37% of respondents reported that their company is doing a poor job with their remote work approach with video conferencing tools, virtual collaboration tools, manager training, and HR resources.
Interestingly, 75% of respondents reported not needing to change their connectivity to make working from home possible. However, 7% of respondents have added a mesh network or purchased a Wi-FI hotspot to use as a backup, and 5% either switched providers or replaced consumer-grade network hardware with something more secure.
To read all of the survey results, plus analysis, download the full research report: Research: How to successfully navigate the technical and management challenges of a