5 remote working myths Slack found in the pandemic
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- Avoiding commuting, saving money and improving work-life balance are the most popular benefits of telecommuting, according to Slack's 'Telecommuting Experience Index'.
- Only 11.6% of the people surveyed for the report say they want to return to office work full time.
- 72.2% want a hybrid remote office model.
- The report also explores five myths about telecommuting.
Not traveling to work, saving money and improving work-life balance are the most popular benefits of telecommuting, according to a new study.
A survey conducted by Slack - the California-based collaboration tool - of more than 9,000 knowledge workers in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan and Australia revealed that most of them were happier working remotely than in the office.
Only 11.6% say they want to return to full-time office work, while 72.2% want a hybrid remote office model.
Slack's Remote Employee Experience Index also provides your opinion on five common beliefs about teleworking. This is what he found.
The index is based on data from a survey of 9,032 knowledge workers who identify as
1. Workers do not miss the 9 to 5 routine of working in the office
One of the biggest factors influencing a positive remote experience is the ability to break free from 9 to 5 and instead work a flexible schedule, according to the index.
"Those with flexible hours are almost twice as productive as those who work 9-5 and are significantly better at belonging," says Slack Vice President Brian Elliott.
Most respondents to the Slack survey want a mix of work at home and at the office / Image: Slack
2. Regular meetings are not the key to keeping employees aligned
While many of us are used to getting in and out of office meetings, these types of hours might not be as effective in the remote world. "For example, workers who attend weekly status meetings actually feel worse about their sense of belonging than workers who receive status updates asynchronously through digital channels," says Elliott.
The interactions that have been found to have the most significant impact on workers' sense of belonging are:
- Biweekly team celebrations to recognize team members or their accomplishments.
- Monthly team building activities.
- Monthly games or unstructured group social activities.
3. Not all workers with children face the same challenge
Women with children in the US face a disproportionate challenge in balancing work and childcare, according to the study. "The evidence clearly points to the lack of a strong social safety net, including publicly funded childcare," says Elliott. "The government is unlikely to take decisive action to meet this need, so it is up to business to step up and fill the gap."
It's harder for women with children to balance work and childcare, says study / Image: Slack
4. Telecommuting experience is no worse for underrepresented groups
Black, Asian and Hispanic workers have a higher rate of telecommuting than their white colleagues, according to the index.
"It's not clear what combination of factors creates this difference," says Elliott. "Why does remote work help level the experience? Have white employees always felt more of a sense of community in most white workplaces? Do members of minority groups feel a better sense of community why are they home? "
The opportunity for telecommuting to be "a great equalizing force" is clear and unmistakable, he adds.
5. Executives and managers do not find it easier to adapt to remote work
Personnel managers, especially mid-level managers, were found to face some of the most serious problems adjusting to telecommuting. These include a sense of belonging, productivity, and stress and anxiety management.
"In the world of telecommuting, the role of the manager has gone from being the gatekeeper to being the coach and the social connector," says Elliott. "Social ties are more difficult to build and maintain in a digital workplace."
Organizations must dedicate time and resources to providing people managers with new tools that allow them to train and connect with their teams, he adds.
Individual employees and middle managers say they feel the lowest sense of belonging / Image: Slack
The World Economic Forum Virtual Summit for Work Restart , held October 20-23, 2020, brings together leaders from business, government, civil society, the media and the general public to shape a new program around the four basic areas of growth, employment, skills and equity.
Sessions on work, wages and job creation will explore topics such as the investments needed to create new jobs, support for living wages, and the development of new standards in digital, physical and hybrid workplaces.
The four-day program includes sessions on setting new standards for the future of work; a new vision of occupational health and the valuation of work and frontline workers.
The summit will also address education, skills and lifelong learning amid increasing digitalisation, and explore how the disruption to the economy and employment could be harnessed to create greater social justice and opportunities for all.