A new survey of HR and talent acquisition leaders in the UK suggests that remote working will become a ‘permanent fixture of the global workforce’.
Published this week, the data comes from a pan-industry survey of senior business leaders on the future of work.
83% said their organisations will reduce or are considering a reduction in office space
A definitive 94% of respondents asserted that their companies will incorporate remote working post-COVID-19 with less than 3% disagreeing in the data collected by Cielo – a recruitment process outsourcing company.
It is unsurprising that as a direct result of this shift, 83% of those surveyed said their organisations will reduce or are considering a reduction in the amount of office space required for their operations. 64% of the professionals surveyed also admitted to questioning whether their businesses would revert to normal hours once the crisis is over. However, 34% expected their organisations to return to the accepted Western model.
94% of HR and Talent Acquisition leaders expect remote working to be a key feature of workforces permanently
This shake-up of the workforce carries significant benefits for employees, with flexible working (91%), reduced travel costs (92%) and a better work/life balance (78%) all scoring highly in the survey. Negatives cited were isolation (93%), reduced team management and support (61%), reduced communication (48%) and worries over career progression (37%) and learning and development (24%).
Remote working proved to be a double-edged sword for employers as well, with respondents enjoying reduced overheads (67%), increased productivity (65%) and reduced absenteeism (58%), but less keen on difficulties arising around team building (85%), maintenance of equipment (45%) and maintaining oversight of the workforce (44%).
64% of professionals question whether their businesses will revert to normal hours once the crisis is over
While an increase in permanent remote working looks inevitable, companies cited several areas that need work before they will be set up to run a predominantly remote operation. Training for managers of remote teams (77%), the introduction of remote working policies (68%), establishing some remaining physical interaction (64%), new ways of delivering development programmes (55%) and investment in new software (52%) and hardware (27%) are all on company agendas as they navigate the change brought by the outbreak.
Seb O’Connell, President EMEA of Cielo, said: “The pandemic has catapulted organisations years ahead technologically in mere weeks and there are significant benefits to both employers and employees.
“Our survey found that productivity has increased while commuting spend has decreased and people are achieving a better work-life balance. The trade-off is potential isolation, lack of transparency of team for managers and striking the right balance around communications.
“It is vital that organisations listen to their employees and put in the investments now to achieve a working model that is fully functional by the time lockdowns are completely abolished.”
For more content on how Covid-19 may affect a reduction in office space, click here.
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