According to a recent study by Intel and Dell on the use of technology in the workplace, perceptions regarding remote work are shifting. Of course, this is fantastic news for technology providers who cater to this market, but it is also good news for companies and their employees who work remotely.
The study involved interviewing 4,764 full-time professionals from small, medium and large organizations across 12 countries. The findings uncovered “dramatic change in how employees will interact with their jobs, colleagues and corporate environments in the future.”
Global Evolving Workforce, Video by Dell
Here are the 6 highlights uncovered by the study, which are of great interest to those involved in remote work situations and provide insights into how organizations can support new work environments.
1. Remote users use multiple devices to perform their work
Whether they work from the office or from home, employees use multiple devices. The use of 2‑in‑1 laptops is increasing particularly in emerging markets.
In order to further enhance productivity, 43% of employees use their own personal devices for work without their companies’ knowledge. While this might be troubling for employers who are at risk of their information being compromised on the employee’s device, it also points to the problems that technologically mobile workers face. The solution may be to pay for work done, rather than for time spent on jobs and to increase the use of teleconferencing in order to increase problem-solving and collaboration.
They rate performance as their top priority, which shows that these executives are more prone to adopting new technology that can help enhance productivity.
2. The office is still the primary workplace, but distractions are a concern for office workers
While 95% of workers spend at least some time in their employers’ office, they also spend on average 2 hours a week in a public place.
48% of employees feel that they are frequently interrupted while working in the office. For that reason, one in every 5 employees wear headphones or earbuds, a trend that increases amongst those who feel more interrupted.
Of those working from home some of the time, 41% agree strongly, or at least somewhat, that it has not impacted on their career growth.
3. Remote workers are being viewed as equally productive to those in the office
Productivity is a major pull-factor for remote workers, whose colleagues view them as equally productive to those working from the office.
Exactly half of those who have experience working from home feel that they are in fact even more productive at home than in the office, while just 14% believed that they are less productive.
A Stanford University study noted similar findings, in addition to the fact that a survey of 16,000 employees of a NASDAQ-listed Chinese company felt that remote workers had higher psychological attitude scores and significantly higher work satisfaction rates. Job attrition rates also dropped by over 50%.
4. Flexibility enhances remote workers’ lifestyles and productivity
According to the Dell study, around 40% of workers drive less when they work from home , while 46% report that they feel less stressed. Thirty percent of the workers report that they sleep more, which means that they are less tired, and more able to focus when they do work. This enhances productivity. Around 52% of individuals surveyed, feel that working from home is at least as productive as working in the office.
5. Workplace technology will continue to advance
51% of employees still spend some time instant messaging or video chatting, or in some way communicating with their colleagues online, even though they are in the same office.
More employees expect to be provided with the best technology to help them be more productive – 1 in 4 employees globally would consider taking a new position that provides better technology, while those in the media and entertainment section are highly likely to leave their current employment in favour of companies who offer better technology.
76% of employees feel that technology influences the way in which they work, as it allows them to communicate faster and thus enhances their productivity.
6. Technology is the key to remote working success
Most employees are excited about the future of evolving technology and the capabilities and benefits it will bring to the workforce, and as we’ve seen in our recent paper on collaboration software trends, we can expect great things from technology in the future.
While only 34% of respondents think that their jobs will become fully automated,
- 92% think that voice recognition will replace the keyboard,
- 87% think that tablets will replace laptops completely,
- 87% think that all computers will use hand gestures,
- 88% think that mice and keyboards will become obsolete.
Mobile technology and alternative devices are crucial to bringing more versatility to remote workplace, and Dell recommends that employers take the time to understand their remote workers’ needs where location and technology are concerned, as this will enable enhanced productivity.
Although they understand the benefits of technology in business, employees in the United Kingdom, US and Japan crave more human touch in their work lives. Perhaps this is a good opportunity for companies to fine-tune the way in which they collaborate with remote workers. Online meetings with screen sharing provides a fantastic way to touch sides with remote workers, while providing the human touch at the same time.
Below you will find the 2nd of four infographics, titled “The Productivity Debate: Office Workers vs. Remote Workers”, created by Dell and Intel based on the findings from the study.
Discussion: How do you feel about the advancements of technology in the workplace? How has it impacted your attitude towards remote working? We’d love to read your thoughts in comments below.