The team at Remote.tools released their State of Remote Work 2021 review, and it makes for incredible reading - it offers a wide range of data sets from polled and interviewed individuals across some of the world's leading tech companies such as GitLab and Slite, and obviously a large proportion of the polled data refers to changes and expected changes driven by the pandemic.
We unpacked it, and took away the following prescient and eye opening of facts on remote work and how professionals are viewing it:
- Outside of the pandemic, the acceptance of home or remote working has overwhelmingly helped those with disabilities or who cannot travel: 97% of respondents said their illness was the reason why they worked remotely. The rise in awareness and acceptance of remote working is therefore even more inclusive for people who cannot travel or commit to commuting.
- 98% of non-disasbled polled workers said they enjoyed working from home, with some variation within that 98% for whether they would ideally like to work on a flexible home/work basis (24%) or that do miss the office (8%), with the primary reason for this positivity down to flexibility of schedule (34%), followed by being able to work anywhere (23%) and time spent with family (13%).
- The biggest struggle when working from home is switching off from work (38%) followed by distractions (18%) and loneliness (15%).
- Nearly half of respondents said their workloads are about the same as pre-pandemic workloads (48%) with nearly 20% saying it had increased by up to an hour.
- 40% of polled workers say they now take multiple smaller breaks throughout the day, breaking up work more often, fundamentally changing the make up of a working day.
- Intentional use of communication programs like Slack or Teams was overwhelmingly used in internal comms, with up to 48% of respondents saying that was the primary way they kept in touch with colleagues.
- 49% of polled workers said they would like work stipends, such as workplace tech, chairs, keyboards, etc as a new workplace perk.
- Time tracking was also in the majority of cases not used - 74% of respondents said their company do not employ time tracking software to monitor work.
- And finally, every respondent said they would want to, im some form, work with some flexibility around home and in-office work, with the majority (31%) saying they would like to work a few days in the office, and a few at home, each week.
- The vast majority of remote workers have been doing so for less than 6 months (nearly 50%).
90% Respondents were based in North America, Asia and Europe, with 10% of respondents from South America, Pacific, Africa and ME.
60% of respondents worked in IT and IT services, followed by Education (5%), Media and Publishing (4%), Financial Services, Healthcare (5%), Travel and Tourism (1%), and Government (1%) and 15% from other industries.
Remote work is here to stay. Overwhelmingly workers want to bring remote work into their weekly working schedule. The prevalence and understanding of remote work, even fairly recent experience of doing so, has exacerbated the need for flexibility.
Remote working helps all workers polled - from disabled workers to abled, and with the improvements to team communication and workflow, remote work looks to be even more inclusive in future.
The improvements to mental health are felt acutely, but there is still work to be done in regards to clear lines between work and home life.
Employers are for the most part very trusting of their work forces, and workers are expecting and asking employers to help them augment their working environment at home with small but effective contributions to home set up.