When Covid-19 became a stark reality for companies around the globe, teams suddenly had to deal with transitioning large segments of their staff to working remotely. Companies that had begun the journey to cloud computing had a clear advantage, but nearly every organisation struggled to keep workflows and processes moving smoothly.
The challenge wasn’t simply remote working, it was that many staff also had to juggle working from home with family responsibilities, including home schooling or taking care of elderly parents, all during a deadly pandemic. The million-dollar question was: how would employees cope?
A year into the pandemic, it is clear that remote workers are fine. In fact, they’re doing very well.
A recent employee study conducted by Nintex found that 70 per cent of those surveyed had better experiences and were more productive working from home than expected because there were fewer interruptions, no commute, more family time and a better work-life balance.
Perhaps not surprisingly, entry-level employees, who are missing out on the in-person experience of working their first full-time jobs, are having a harder time with telecommuting. Though 53 per cent said working remotely has been better and more productive than expected, many still cited overwork and unclear job instructions as particular challenges.
It’s critical that we address these challenges because, with 51 per cent of respondents saying their work life would improve if they could work remotely permanently, there’s no question we’re headed for a hybrid work environment after the pandemic ends.
A lot of workflow gaps exist in a hybrid environment, which means this is one area where tech solutions can make a real difference. In fact, 39 per cent of workers said access to better automation software solutions would help them to be more effective and productive.
A full 55 per cent of Gen Z respondents said that software to easily automate work would make them more productive. This is not an insignificant insight: according to education association UPCEA, by 2030 Gen Z is expected to make up nearly 40 per cent of the workforce. At the same time, those aged between 57 and 75 – who in our study cited a pay raise as their biggest productivity motivator — will be retiring in record numbers. Gen Z staff are imagining nearly all their work being done remotely, which is important for recruiting now and in the future.
Through this pandemic staff have not only survived, they have actually thrived and the cost-benefit of working remotely is attractive to everyone. We must learn from this experience and prepare for tomorrow’s workplace by implementing digital work process solutions that position teams for success in the new era of remote and hybrid work environments.
Dustin Grosse is the chief marketing and strategy officer at Nintex
This article was originally published in the Spring 2021 issue of The Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.
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