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Telework Gaining Ground Among Employees in the Coronavirus Era

An overwhelming majority of employees working from home in the coronavirus (Covid-19) era want to be able to choose between remote work and the office once restrictions ease.

According to research by Cisco Systems, nearly nine in 10 workers (87 percent) want greater ownership in defining how and when they use office space – favoring a hybrid blend of office-based and remote work.

Cisco’s “Workforce of the Future 2020” report surveyed 10,000 office-based employees across 12 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Russia (EMEAR) between August 11-25.

On average, only 5 percent of those surveyed worked from home most of the time before the lockdown.

Source: Workforce of the Future 2020 Survey

The benefits that workers want to keep include greater autonomy (63 percent), working well as a dispersed team (66 percent), and the faster decision-making that occured during the pandemic (61 percent).

Employees also want their companies to invest more in technology and training to allow them to stay productive and engaged when working remotely. They also expect their organizations to adopt technology that will keep them safer and more secure at work.

“The pandemic and the rapid adoption of digital technologies is fundamentally changing the nature of work… Collaboration technology that uses AI, environmental sensors, and advanced analytics are all critical to empowering employees, keeping teams connected and productive in every location, whilst increasing workplace safety,” said Cisco EMEAR Presidents Wendy Mars.

The Cisco survey also showed that cultural norms have been challenged in organizations and positive change welcomed. A big part of this was leaders’ increased trust in their employees, resulting in a shift in the very perceptions of remote work.

Nearly 40 percent felt trust had improved from their leaders to do their job well.

Source: Workforce of the Future 2020 Survey

Furthermore, 66 percent of office-based employers in EMEAR have a greater appreciation of the benefits and challenges of working from home.

Fifty six percent incorporated more exercise into their daily routine while working from home. In addition, 58 percent want to travel less and use their time more productively.

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About the Author
Eleftheria has worked for several financial newspapers, magazines and websites during the past 19 years. Between 2004 and 2014 she worked as a radio producer, reporter and presenter for the Greek and English language program of “Athina 9.84 FM”. She also has hands-on experience in the MICE industry.

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