Technology Record - Issue 29: Summer 2023

36 The proportion of jobs in which people can work from home grew by 80 per cent between 1999 and 2023, according to the UK’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Working from home is not a new concept: the US Census Bureau reported an increase of 4.2 million home-based workers between 1997 and 2010 in the USA, and Statista found that 36 per cent of employees in the AsiaPacific region had started to work from home before the onset of Covid-19. However, at the height of the Covid pandemic during the second quarter of 2020, over half a billion people (17.4 per cent of the world’s employees) were working from home, according to the UK’s Centre of Economic Policy Research. Following the pandemic, many businesses have continued to offer flexible work options for their employees. In the USA, 51 per cent of employees have moved to a hybrid model and are working from home on an average of 2.8 days per week, according to WFH Research’s Survey of Working Arrangements and Attitudes. “Work is changing faster than it has in a generation,” says Jaime Teevan, chief scientist and technical fellow at Microsoft. For many employees, hybrid working offers an improved work-life balance by eliminating commuting time and the distractions of the office, which often results in higher productivity. Yet, while many employees have enjoyed these benefits, hybrid working has introduced several issues too. Overcoming the obstacles of remote work The 2021 Employee Well-Being Report from Microsoft partner Glint found that 41 per cent of employees felt disconnected from their colleagues, 38 per cent were overwhelmed with their workloads Making work COVER STORY easier Recent enhancements to productivity apps like Teams and Outlook are changing the way that colleagues and clients exchange information, ideas and knowledge, regardless of their location BY ALICE CHAMBERS