Nearly a year into the “great remote work experiment,” it is clear that we’re never going back. The COVID-19 pandemic may have forced the hand of companies around the world to implement remote work, but its viability long-term has never been clearer, or more studied.
For companies that decide there’s no need (or benefit) to going back to the old way of working but do not want to embrace a fully remote work environment, creating a successful, long-term hybrid workforce will require changing the way we think of work in subtle as well as not so subtle ways.
However, the absence of regulations and norms about remote work and learning has raised concerns and is slowly building toward mass dissatisfaction when it comes to adequate compensation and needed facilities by the employees and students.
According to a study we recently conducted, “What is the current approach to Online Learning and Working from Home,” interviewers suggest that only 49% of remote workers think they do not have the right equipment needed for their jobs from home and 69% of workers want to be compensated for internet and equipment that they manage themselves. This raises the question of whether we are adapting to this new work culture as fast as we should.
As we work remotely more and more, we can reach efficient communications with our audiences by various tools, which in turn can improve team communication across organizations. As many functions of webinars are automated, such as reminders, we are able to save time and have the opportunity to receive feedback about remote sessions quickly. Online meetings have become an interactive and efficient way to share knowledge with workers and students, and support companies during daily work or even through crises.
With that said, it is entirely possible that a large part of the industry remains in denial of the clear benefits of a work-from-home or a hybrid-remote work model. Since the incoming vaccine is looking promising, organizations are gearing to switch back to an office working routine soon. But for some, this pandemic has been a manifestation of how remote work can accelerate growth, raise employee satisfaction and, as a key issue boost productivity, all the while keeping budgets in check.
The workforce seems to agree, with a whopping 46% inclined toward a permanent hybrid-model and 33% agreeing that a fully remote working model would be more suitable, according to the study. Sixty-eight percent of respondents say that working from home allows them to save more time for themselves and their families and provides them with more leisure time.
Our survey also shares that there is a 375% increase in online events each week and a 560% increase in online audience sizes since the start of the pandemic. In fact, in March alone, the number of webinars organized on ClickMeeting globally reached nearly a quarter of a million.
It is only a matter of time when organizations will need to optimize their policies about remote work and encourage a healthier work environment. This brings a lot of challenges, from providing equipment to deploying communication technology, from accurately logging time to virtual project management, and so on. Arguably, some of the largest companies in the world are already working toward minimizing the hurdles and facilitating training and learning for their employees to better adapt to a remote working environment. The same is true for entrepreneurs, startups and small organizations, who already favored this type of environment because of its clear benefits in scaling growth and acquiring talent from around the world.
A wider adaptation of remote-work culture will further accelerate the demands of the modern global economy and undoubtedly enable organizations to fulfill their requirements more easily than before.
Concerns, Questions and Accommodations around Remote Work
- The majority of our respondents (61%) work remotely right now. This correlates with the 62% who switched to work from home model during the lockdown in March and April.
- Around half the surveyed professionals agree that their equipment (50%) and conditions (51%) are good enough to perform their jobs online. The rest admit they are facing moderate difficulties or limitations that make work from home impossible.
- The Internet connection works just fine for as much as 84% of respondents but is too slow for the remaining 16%.
- Fifty-nine percent enjoy remote work, whereas 23% of people still miss office reality.
- The hybrid model (working partly at home, partly at the office) is an ideal vision for 46% of the respondents, whereas 33% vote for pure remote work and 16% stand for the office work approach.
- As much as 69% of people who took part in our survey expect compensation for using their private internet, furniture or equipment.
- Thirty-two percent think that they should receive a higher salary for working at home.
Dominika Paciorkowska is chief managing director of ClickMeeting, a webinar, videoconferencing and online meeting platform. In her last five years managing the ClickMeeting European webinar platform, creating and implementing strategies backed up with knowledge learned in ICAN Institute, she has turned the company into a well-oiled machine and helped to grow ClickMeeting during the pandemic. She is a female leader, deeply rooted in the IT industry, with strong results in delivering world-renowned SaaS products and upscaling business.