The study, conducted by CITE Research in partnership with Kaleido Insights, surveyed 4,000 knowledge workers across four countries, including 1,000 from across the UK, about how they have adapted and adjusted to this extended period of remote working with the onset of the pandemic.
“Since the pandemic hit the UK last March, forcing the nation into their homes, we have seen the debate over productivity while working remotely rage on. While some leaders have branded it ‘bad for business’, the results of this study show that an employee’s level of productivity is highly dependent on how far a company has gone to build a culture of connection - despite being separated physically,” said Steve Rafferty, country manager - UK & Ireland, RingCentral. “Sadly, this also means that for companies that were not ready for remote working before March, and have done very little to adapt subsequently, employee productivity and wellbeing will almost certainly have suffered as a result. As remote working looks to continue, businesses must stop resisting change and make the move to digital - bringing what made the company great offline, online through technology and social behaviour.”
The shift to WFH has not levelled the playing field
The reason for this disparity is rooted in the differences in working space at home.
Those under the age of 25 are also being unfairly disadvantaged.
Yet, according to the study, fear and loneliness are pushing Gen Z back to the office.
In a bid to level the playing field during the pandemic, many UK companies have been taking a hybrid approach - allowing workers to split their time between home and office during the working week. Yet, according to the study, only 23% of all office workers surveyed showed any interest in working this way post-pandemic.
"The results of this study are so meaningful in the way they show concrete steps any business can take towards adopting a connected culture. It is what employees want,” said Anand Eswaran, president and chief operating officer, RingCentral. "Our company is founded on the power of connecting people. The study validates our belief that harnessing that power leads to a productive and engaged remote workforce, as well as the hybrid workforce we anticipate in the future.”