Although we all wish the impetus for widespread remote working was different, the new way of working—one that is distributed, technology-enabled, and aligned with meaningful digital transformation goals—should have long-term positive effects for business and people. The abrupt shift to remote work caused some major initial challenges.
It is no surprise to anyone that at the very beginning of the pandemic, many companies were caught flat-footed. Although 95% of leaders were comfortable with the idea of remote work, 69% said they were not completely prepared for such a jarring transition. That sudden shift produced some substantial problems.
For instance, 40% flagged increased technical difficulties as a major disruptor while 37% cited weaker employee performance and productivity. Another 36% indicated stress and anxiety were big issues for employees. These are all predictable outcomes for a pandemic that upended both personal and professional norms. Fortunately, all these issues are surmountable with the right technology.
The sudden shift to remote work gave business leaders a better sense of the biggest barriers to success for ensuring the performance of a remote workforce. According to the 700 global respondents, the biggest barriers are: technology to optimise or improve remote performance 39% globally, 50% in the US, spotty or unreliable home Wi-Fi 38%, and the need for better visibility into network and application performance 37%.
Forward-thinking organisations are investing for performance in this remote work reality. Of those surveyed, 61% of leaders will be making additional technology investments in the next 12 months, with 31% describing this expansion as significant. Anecdotally, we have heard this same theme from customers, who are deeply interested in taking a more proactive posture.
There is no question that hybrid work environments are on the roadmap for many businesses across a wide variety of industries. In fact, a survey found that on average globally, businesses expect 25% of employees will work remotely after Covid-19, nearly a 50% increase versus prior to the pandemic. Employees will increasingly work from anywhere and technology will be the enabler that breaks down barriers to performance and security.
Tools that maximise the performance and reliability of apps and remote workers or that drive enhanced network visibility regardless of location will be absolutely fundamental to high-functioning organisations in this new paradigm.
As the new normal becomes just normal, companies are preparing for a large-scale, long-term shift to remote work, where increasingly employees will work from anywhere.
- Biggest barriers are technology to optimise or improve remote performance.
- Forward-thinking organisations are investing for performance in this remote work reality.
- 61% of leaders will be making additional technology investments in the next 12 months.
- 31% describe the expansion as significant.