Tech sector best-prepared industry to support mass remote working
If anyone’s going to deal well with the requirement of remote working during these unprecedented times, it’s the tech world.
Not only has the tech community led the remote working revolution in recent years, ranking second in industries embracing such working culture, but many companies within the sector have actually reported boosts in productivity and profits thanks to a flexible workforce.
It comes as no surprise then, that even despite uncertainty in what the future might hold for employees around the world thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, the technology sector is one of the best-prepared industries to take on a mass remote working strategy.
And there’s research to back it up. As the government imposes tighter restrictions on public movement in the UK due to the spread of COVID-19, data courtesy of global business intelligence company, Leesman, suggests the technology sector is one of the best prepared for supporting remote working.
Surveying more than 700,000 employees worldwide, the research revealed that of the 24,425 working in information tech, Internet, and software, only more a third (37%) of employees in tech have no home working experience. While still not a tremendously low number, it’s relatively promising when compared to the 60% with no home working experience in the aviation, aerospace and defence industries as well as the 52% of overall respondents globally.
The firm’s Index rating, which covers more than 90 indicators of the physical, virtual and social workplace infrastructures, shows how employees are supported and monitors key economic indicators like personal and collective productivity, knowledge transfer and pride.
It also found that 75% of employees in the technology industry that already work from home occasionally, normally do so for just one day a week or less, and only 3% work from home for more than four days per week, with less than half (41%) of sporadic home workers having a dedicated room to work from.
However, rather worryingly, Leesman’s data also suggests the tech space must brace itself for reduced productivity and innovation in the near future thanks to the outbreak. The main risks with home working for those in tech include a reduced sense of community (-27.7%), social interaction (-18.4%), knowledge transfer (-22.5%) and learning from others (-16.4%). The research also found that for those working from home 4-5 days a week, there was also a predicted decline of -27.8% when it came to “having an enjoyable environment to work in”.
What this shows is that while remote working can normally prove beneficial for tech companies in terms of productivity – physical, social interaction and true community values are also very important for the employees of any business. Perhaps a happy medium, specifically work flexibility, could be the key takeaway here.
Lee Bell – Freelance journalist & copywriter
Lee’s been writing about London’s buzzing tech scene for over eight years. Kick-starting his journalism career in the technology industry at The INQUIRER in 2012, he found his voice in the innovations space, focusing on the latest advances in tech and how they are affecting society.
These days, he’s a freelance journalist and copywriter. He covers news, features and reviews for a host of national print and online lifestyle titles such as GQ, Esquire, Shortlist, Men’s Health, Wired, The Metro, and The Mirror. He specialises in health and fitness innovations, and how the latest tech developments can improve wellbeing.