With many businesses working remotely over the past few months, we have conducted a survey to find out how SMEs across the UK have responded to the challenges and opportunities that working from home has presented.
Within the survey, we looked at the impact remote working has had on both home and work life, the advantages and disadvantages, as well as whether or not businesses plan to work remotely in the future.
Explore the responses below:
Are you currently working from home?
A reassuring 67% of participants answered that they were currently working remotely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here we gain insight into how possible it was for businesses to move their staff to remote working structure and whether teams have been able to remain operational. How does this compare to your business’ experience? Have your teams been able to stay connected?
Has working from home been difficult for you?
Despite many businesses initially not knowing whether full remote working would be possible, 60% of respondents answered that they have found it easy to work from home. The biggest reasons for participants finding it difficult were based on their specific job roles and a lack of remote working experience, rather than inadequate technology or dedicated space. Hopefully, this shows that, with the right tools and a clear remote working policy, flexible working is a viable alternative for many full-time office workers.
What decisions have you made at home?
A topic that has been discussed in most of our households! We asked participants what important decisions they have made while working remotely, to explore how remote working has impacted our work/life balance. As well as daily household responsibilities and childcare, over 70% of respondents mentioned that they have carved out dedicated spaces to work from home, in order to achieve a balance between a more formal space and a space to relax and unwind outside of work.
What changes have you made to make home working possible?
Participants were also asked to explain what steps they took in order to move to remote working at such short notice. The stand out response was equipping a specific and appropriate space to work from, closely followed by making arrangements with other household members to ensure that their work was not interrupted. Setting clear boundaries between home and work life has definitely been a trend that we’ve seen, both in our business and when talking to our customers. How have your teams adapted?
How long did it take to get set up for remote working?
Surprisingly, even though teams had to move to home working as quickly as possible, 75% of our respondents admitted that it took no time at all to get set up. This suggests that remote working is something businesses could have considered introducing earlier and is not as challenging to achieve as first anticipated.
Benefits of working from home
Although the last few months have been difficult for many businesses, we thought it was important to ask participants about the benefits that people have discovered while working remotely. We were pleased to discover that lots of different benefits were mentioned, with one of the stand out answers being the reduction in travel time.
Disadvantages of working from home
Additionally, we thought it was equally important to discuss the disadvantages of remote working. The stand out disadvantage was that participants missed the connection with their colleagues. While this can be counteracted with video conferencing, it can certainly take some getting used to!
Working from home checklist
With many teams needing to buy additional hardware to work from home effectively, we asked about the specific equipment that respondents purchased, in order to achieve a productive remote working setup. Surprisingly, over 60% of respondents required a desk, which goes against the myth that remote workers spend the day working from their beds or sofas!
Do you expect to work from home more often?
Overwhelmingly, 82.23% answered ‘yes’ or ‘maybe’ when asked if they expected to continue with remote working post lockdown, indicating that the business landscape may have changed for good.
Two thirds of participants in the survey have been working remotely and it’s fantastic to hear that the majority of them have had very little difficulty in transitioning to a remote setup. With video conferencing software and cloud phone systems more popular than ever, businesses that have adopted the latest technology can choose how and where their workforces operate. With the right solutions in place, flexible working can be made simple.
Want to find out how our telephony solutions can help you increase your productivity and reduce your costs, or just some friendly, impartial advice on the best tools to make comms a breeze? Contact us today via our live chat, 0333 3603 723, or email email@example.com.