Brain power

Are people ready to work from home?

Originally posted on The Horizons Tracker.

As the coronavirus has spread around the world, the trickle of people working from home has become a deluge, and what for decades has been a largely marginal activity has overnight become mainstream.

A new survey of several hundred thousand people by Leesman reveals the general lack of preparedness for such an eventuality.  Around the world, over half of employees have no experience of working from home to call upon.

“Home-working will undoubtedly prove pivotal in limiting the impact of the coronavirus crisis,” Leesman say. “But the data suggests that many employers and employees will be out of their depth.”

Even if employers aren’t specifically implementing remote working policies, the common advice to self-isolate in the event of developing symptoms for the disease is likely to force many people to do so in the coming weeks.

Ill prepared

The data suggests that even among those who do work from home more regularly, nearly 80% only do so for one day a week or less, with just 1% doing so for over four days each week.  The survey also found that just 41% of home workers have a dedicated room they can work from, with 39% failing to even have a designated desk.

This is likely to be compounded by the likely closure of schools, meaning many parents will also have children at home when they are trying to maintain a semblance of work normality.

The researchers urged employers to support workers operating from home, especially in areas such as providing adequate tools to allow collaboration and community to remain, with employees most concerned about losing the social aspects of working life.

“Our advice is for organisations to quickly quantify where their main obstacles will be and seek support,” Leesman say. “We know how and why corporate offices impact employee sentiment but have significantly less understanding of even the short-term impact of dispersing teams into environments designed for living, not working.”

Article source: Are People Ready To Work From Home?

Image source: Working from home by Logan Ingalls on Flickr, CC BY 2.0.

Adi Gaskell

I'm an old school liberal with a love of self organizing systems. I hold a masters degree in IT, specializing in artificial intelligence and enjoy exploring the edge of organizational behavior. I specialize in finding the many great things that are happening in the world, and helping organizations apply these changes to their own environments. I also blog for some of the biggest sites in the industry, including Forbes, Social Business News, Social Media Today and Work.com, whilst also covering the latest trends in the social business world on my own website. I have also delivered talks on the subject for the likes of the NUJ, the Guardian, Stevenage Bioscience and CMI, whilst also appearing on shows such as BBC Radio 5 Live and Calgary Today.

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