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Remote work technology: the road ahead is digital

This is the fifth in a series of excerpts from our New World of Work survey report which was published in August 2020. More than 350 respondents filled out the 30-question survey, resulting in numerous compelling insights both for business and recruitment interests. Here, we learn about how businesses managed to forge ahead in a suddenly remote work world.

Remote work technology

In this chapter, we address the following questions:

  • What are businesses planning for the remote work future?
  • How important is technology in remote work?

Digital transformation is a long-time buzzword that now means the digitization of information, industries, organizations, and operations. And if remote work is the biggest paradigm shift prompted by COVID-19, remote work technology is the vehicle to make that a smoother transition.

Technology – the great enabler

When we asked respondents what made them able to move to a remote workflow without disruption, more than two thirds (68%) reported it was because they already had the technology for remote workers to do so.

“… industries and businesses are going to adapt to using digital platforms to deliver their work and product. People are adjusting to social distancing and embracing the technology to meet people and make their daily earnings.” – Survey respondent

Of your workforce that can go remote without disruption to workflow, what makes them able to do so_ (1)

Of those planning to remote operations or distributed teams, nearly half plan to introduce or increase digital capabilities in that transition – in short, more technology for remote work.

If you're moving some or all your business to remote operations or distributed teams, which of the following will be considered_

Those in senior-level management prioritized tech adoption in the post-COVID work environment, much more so than those at entry/mid-level. Perhaps executives see tech adoption as a company-wide, internal digital transformation while entry/mid-level employees see it primarily as technology for remote work day-to-day.

“COVID-19 has shown … that weak link [in] being penny wise but pound foolish when it comes to technology adoption. During the shutdown, those who spent on technology were able to be ‘business as usual’ where workforce worked 100% remotely.” – Survey respondent

Which of the following do you think will be the top three biggest challenges in the new post-COVID work environment_ (categorized by entry_mid-level vs senior-level employees) (2)

Those in entry/mid-level employee positions are more concerned about the readiness of their business than those in senior-level management. Also, several custom entries from our respondents indicate the lack of senior-level buy-in.

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Some of these differences may indicate potential issues around employee engagement.

“The world of work will be focusing on new technology to make work efficient and boost collaboration in virtual ways, [and] more adaptive to remote working style. The expenses for office rental & travelling will be cut as well, [and] more creative ways in employee engagement events.” – Survey respondent

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The future’s ours to determine

COVID-19 has shifted the way we work – and some of it, permanently. Our New World of Work survey found a great deal of uncertainty about the road ahead, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Learn more in our in-depth report

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