Global studies indicate that remote working is here to stay…but that doesn’t come without challenges
Although it can feel like this statement is now sacrosanct, we’re always keeping our fingers on the pulse to gauge shifting sentiments. Right now, there’s a tug of war between wanting to work from home and concerns that this stifles personal growth.
A survey of just under 1,000 firms by the Institute of Directors (IoD) shows that 74% plan on maintaining the increase in home working—perhaps because only 2% of workers want to return to offices full time.
Yet, the human implications of remote working are yet to be fully understood and mitigated. In the same survey, around 40% admitted that this shift will come at a cost. Namely, that working from home makes co-workers less sociable (for obvious reasons) and hinders spontaneous collaboration.
Research shows IT is ill-equipped to support remote workers
Research from Spiceworks Ziff Davis shows that a third of enterprises are expecting an increase in their IT budgets, with the biggest driver for the increase being to update outdated IT infrastructure to support this new way of working.
It makes logical sense considering that research from Vanson Bourne indicates that over a third (36%) of employees are experiencing more IT issues while working at home and 72% wait hours, days, or weeks for their problems to be resolved by IT. Without the IT infrastructure to support remote employees, IT will struggle to adapt to the changing workplace in 2021.
Alongside the rise in IT issues, there’s also an urgent need to heal the IT-employee divide. In another survey, a quarter of workers reported that their IT team does not value their feedback and one-sixth of organizations were not monitoring the remote worker experience at all, which meant IT would have zero visibility into the activity of about 24 million remote workers.
Worse still, just under three-fifths (58%) of all remote workers who encountered IT issues did not tell the IT team about them.
There’s data to prove that CIOs will have a considerable influence on workplace culture in 2021
According to Gartner, by 2021, CIOs will be as responsible for culture change as chief HR officers. Traditionally, the mission and values of an organization usually fall into the remit of HR, but the partnership between IT and HR can shed light on how IT can make technology and process design decisions that foster the intention of the desired organizational culture.
This puts employee experience high on the CIO agenda for 2021. Indeed, research proves that organizations that score in the top 25% on employee experience report nearly three times the return on assets and more than two times the return on sales, compared to organizations in the bottom quartile.
Yet, employee experience is grossly misunderstood. In a survey from Salesforce, far more respondents said their organizations view employee experience as the responsibility of human resources (40%) or the C-suite (14%) than IT (fewer than 5%).
Keep up with the latest WFA news
Want all the latest news and insights about the future of work and how this will impact your IT strategy in one place? Check out the Work From Anywhere News page to ensure you’re not missing out.