Majority Of Remote Workers Feel More Productive At Home. But How Can Industry Leaders Be Sure?
It may come as something of a surprise, but employees who believe they are more productive commuting to brick-and-mortar workspaces have now entered the minority.
According to recent Small Business Trends research, 44.9 percent of work-from-home employees indicate their productivity improved, while another 20.6 percent see no difference. That may be a blessing for companies that increased remote infrastructure investment because upwards of two-thirds of the workforce no longer commute.
Live-work culture in the time of COVID-19 has been heralded as the “New Normal” by experts and major corporations across the U.S. are rapidly reinventing themselves. The Wall Street Journal recently reported in ‘New Normal’ Emerges for Companies Navigating Covid-19 Pandemic that outfits such as Shake Shack and Chipotle have reimagined their physical footprints to increase drive-thru and reduce reliance on large facilities. Given no one knows when a vaccine will become available or even if it makes sense to go back to the Old Normal, it may be in the best interest of business leaders to understand the perspectives and challenges of offsite employees. That’s largely because what you don’t know about unsupervised employees could prove problematic.
My team and I at Network Security Associates in Las Vegas have been helping businesses throughout Nevada make the transition to work from home environment and also assisting business owners to make sure employees are efficient and productive outside the office, as they are inside the office.
Why Do Employees Favor Work-From-Home Options?
It’s essential to keep in mind that polling data does not necessarily employ a scientific method. The answer to questions about offsite productivity can be laced with personal likes and dislikes. The Small Business Trends data about task completion may be influenced by the following reasons remote workers gave for their preference.
- Flexible Schedule: More than 60 percent said workhour flexibility ranked as the top benefit.
- Commuting: More than 50 percent listed the removal of travel time as a key perk.
- Work Attire: Not having to dress in professional clothing was a benefit for 44.8 percent of respondents.
- Money: Upwards of 37 percent preferred remote work because it saves them money.
- Quality of Life: Combining the benefits already listed led 19.6 percent to enjoy enhanced family time.
- Colleagues: Just over 10 percent said they liked not having to interact with “annoying colleagues.”
Employers may want to consider the work-from-home options with a grain of salt while garnering intimate knowledge about how work-from-home policies can go sideways.
Threats to Work-From-Home Productivity
The human experience sometimes leads us to “feel” a certain way about something that does not necessarily match up to the hard data. The Small Business Trends survey blends elements of personal benefits with notions about where people are more focused. Comingling such wide-reaching ideas may prompt business leaders to consider inherent work-from-home productivity pitfalls. These rank among the top distraction percentages, according to the survey.
- Social Media: 61.6 percent
- Smartphones: 53.7 percent
- Binge-Watching: 42.1 percent
- Children: 33.8 percent
- Gaming: 30.4 percent
- Napping: 19.8 percent
Among those who set a work regimen, a modest 28.6 percent reported having enough self-starter motivation to follow through. Upwards of 71.4 percent struggle to maintain a cohesive live-work schedule. Adding insult to injury, 36.6 percent of remote workers reportedly wake up late. Just as the Wall Street Journal article points about large corporations taking determined measures to increase revenue, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and other decision-makers must take realistic steps to ensure your profit-driving tasks are completed on time and on budget.
Managed IT Solutions For Distracted Work Oversight
Data published by the Wall Street Journal points to driving S&P 500 growth in Information Technology since the pandemic upended global economies. Organizations with newly-minted remote workforces may also be pleased to learn that the so-called New Normal has been evolving for more than a decade. Big Tech has not overlooked the fact that employee supervision remains critical to goal achievement.
With your valued team members offsite, they are not necessarily out from under the watchful eyes of supervisory oversight. For example, a 2018 Gartner study indicated that 50 percent percent of employers were leveraging technology monitoring software to ensure workers were remaining true to schedules. That figure is expected to exceed 80 percent by the end of 2020.
A wealth of platforms exist that enhance online productivity, collaboration, and real-time communication while also diligently tracking work hours. By enlisting the expertise of a managed IT specialist to utilize workforce monitoring systems, business leaders can rest assured that you are not paying for someone to take a nap, play Xbox, or binge-watch Grey’s Anatomy. The adage of “Trust But Verify” holds true in the New Normal and you can remake your organization with next-generation technology.