Beyond COVID-19: Lessons for remote working and the Digital Workplace

Navpreet Kundal
Navpreet Kundal
Jun 05, 2020
Beyond COVID-19: Lessons for remote working and the Digital Workplace

While remote working isn’t new, doing it all the time is. We set out to learn how employees have adjusted to this new normal and what this means for the future of the digital workplace.

For our latest survey, we spoke with 300 employees across six industries in the US and UK during the coronavirus pandemic. We wanted to understand how the employee experience has been impacted by the mass shift to remote working in 2020, and how IT has been supporting them during this time. The results were, to say the least, surprising.

Our research into the state of the remote employee experience is the industry’s first analysis of the impact of remote working in 2020. It will be publicly released on Thursday 2nd July, but you can get an exclusive look at the results before anyone else in our webinar on Thursday 25th June. Our CEO will be unpicking the results with industry experts and delving into what they mean for IT teams in their quest to support remote working at scale, and what can be done to meet the employee-driven future of work.

So, what can IT decision makers learn from this industry-leading research? We’ll give you a sneak peek…

85% of strictly office-based employees are currently working remotely full-time and experiencing more IT issues than ever before

What’s clear is that although many companies had opted for flexible working arrangements, forgoing offices completely was rarely on the cards, which means almost every employee has been forced to learn a new way of working on the job. That’s painful for employees because they’re now being confronted with more IT issues that ever before. And it’s a headache for IT because they’re not equipped with the right tools to support remote workers. Instead, technology that was deployed to only support employees inside the office walls has to somehow do something it was never designed to do: work remotely. It’s like fitting a square peg into a round hole. It’s not going to work. And it shows because…

As well as an increase in IT issues, 65% of employees also say it takes longer to get their issues resolved

More issues and longer resolution times equates to a huge decrease in productivity. And that’s because the lack of physical access to employees’ endpoints to fix issues at point of identification has made IT’s jobs much harder. Reliance on RDP, as well as ticket escalations and limited staff capacity, have all resulted in longer resolution times. Depending on the severity of the issue, it may mean that employees are unable to complete business-critical work while waiting for the issue to be resolved. This is quite possibly taking an emotional toll on employees already feeling the effects of a global health crisis. But it gets worse…

When those issues are being resolved, 68% of employees are experiencing disruption during that time

So, remote employees are experiencing more issues, waiting longer for them to be resolved, and then when they are resolved, are unable to work during that time. Let’s put that into the context of how working practices have changed as a result of the pandemic. Because we’re no longer seeing our colleagues in the office, we’re spending more time writing emails and in meetings, already limiting the time we have in the average work day to do meaningful work (which is one reason why we all end up working longer hours when at home). Adding IT disruption on top means that more employees will be feeling unproductive, likely leading to a sense of unfulfillment.

Looking ahead: The future of the digital workplace

Remote employees are facing too much disruption that hinders their experience and productivity, which has a negative impact on businesses. It’s time for IT decision makers to step up, understand what employees need in remote settings, and evolve the digital workplace so that it supports both employees and the business’s goals. Though on the surface, this may all seem doom and gloom, we’re here to help you to turn these insights into action. Whether or not you decide to embark on a long-term remote working plan, there are valuable lessons to learn from how employees adapt to sudden changes in organizational practices and what role IT plays. So, join our upcoming webinar, Remote Work Survey 2020: The Future of the Digital Workplace and the Remote Employee Experience, to get all the research insights you need to make the digital workplace work for your employees and the business.

LIVE WEBINAR - Remote Work Survey 2020: The Future of the Digital Workplace and the Remote Employee Experience

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