2020 has had a lot of impact on the working cultures of many businesses, most prominent of which has been the introduction of remote work. Although some companies already had some sort of remote work arrangement for their employees, most were caught off guard by the pandemic and had to formulate virtual work plans at the drop of a hat.
To gauge the effectiveness of the transition from in-office work to virtual work, Hubspot, a leading customer relationship management platform, carried out an extensive survey on full-time remote workers in the US, UK, Ireland, Australia, and Germany. The report, called the “2020 Remote Work Report”, compiled views of thousands of employees from the aforementioned countries with respect to collaboration, career growth, inclusion, and work-life balance when working remotely.
Of the respondents, 43% said they had a difficult time participating in meetings when everyone was working remotely, and a further 39% thought that their companies should have provided better tools to collaborate and communicate. This is to say that not all employees found the transition to be as smooth as they hoped. However, 40% of the participants agreed that their managers had successfully set the right guidelines and expectations around communicating in a remote world.
When it came to productivity, 58% stated that their performance had remained the same as it was pre-pandemic, 31% cited an improvement while only 11% said that their performance had declined. In the same vein, 60% of the respondents agreed that working remotely allowed them to bring their best self to work.
The survey also found out that despite being remote, companies are still trying to ensure that all their employees feel a sense of inclusion and belonging in their work. 59% said that their company actively works to provide an inclusive environment for remote workers and 51% reported having plenty of opportunities to be involved in their company’s diversity and inclusion programs.
Another key facet of the survey was the impact of the pandemic on mental health and family. It was determined that most employees had taken up new roles as caregivers, childcare providers, and teachers within their home setting. Some reported that remote working blurred the lines between “work” and “life”. However, while working remotely, most employees noted that there were more discussions on mental health and wellness in the workplace. 81% of the respondents said that they openly discussed mental health in their jobs though to varying extents. According to 38% of respondents, employers have also been very supportive throughout the pandemic, and 42% say that their managers accord them the flexibility to take breaks when they need them.
The results of the survey show that the adoption of remote work hasn’t been without its hurdles. However, it has brought with it more inclusivity in the workplace, as well as encouraging open discussion on issues that were often ignored like mental health.
Although 2020 has been bumpy, it has improved the perception of businesses to remote work and has offered a chance for growth and improvement of company cultures.
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