Despite COVID-19 bringing a year of immense disruption, technology like digital workplace software has meant many office-based businesses were able to survive. But as 2020 begins to wrap up, and a vaccine could be on the horizon, business leaders may be reconsidering their policies.
To make this decision, it’s important to look at 2020 as a case study and ask: Iseffective? Are employees more productive under the watchful eye of managers?
To explore this topic, Capterra surveyed 1,400 Australian employees (from junior staff through to leadership teams and business owners) to ask how they would rate theirthroughout the year.
—a full methodology is available at the bottom of this article. Read on to discover the five most important statistics for businesses to consider when building their flexible policies for 2021.were from a mixture of and non- -settings to allow us to explore differences in answers
Around two-thirds of Australian employees areremotely
As of November (2021), 64% of employees up from 57% since March 2020 (when the country originally went into a lockdown and Capterra first surveyed Australian employees about circumstances).for a small or medium-sized business in Australia are remotely full-time or part-time. This statistic is
While 21% ofsaid they have always been a , 43% were new to the concept this year.
How to apply this into apolicy?
This year has proven thatwith a distributed workforce is possible. As a result, it makes sense that many companies will be looking to relax their viewpoints toward .
From a talent attraction and retainment perspective, a continue . remotely after the lockdown endspolicy provides companies with a competitive edge. Capterra’s survey found that 87% of employees would like to
2. 78% of staff say they’re just as (or more) productive at home
At the beginning of the lockdown, employers were understandably nervous about transitioning to a biggest concerns and immediate priorities at the time included retaining staff and ensuring they could remain productive while from home.environment. Their
Fortunately, the majority of staff said they’ve been able towell in a home-office environment. Just 4% of employees surveyed said they’re less productive since from home, and only 1% said they’re struggling.
Taking aside the disruptions and distractions of the, Capterra was keen to understand which environment sets employees up for greater . 38% of employees surveyed said they’re just as productive at home while 44% said they’re more productive at home. Combined, these figures indicate that outside of the office has its benefits.
How to apply this to apolicy
With the correct resources in place, staff can be productive in a digital environment—as proven this year. However, it’s important to note that around one in five staff members (18%) said they are less productive at home. The office may not be as critical to a business’s levels as it was viewed at the start of this year, but it still has a place.
Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach to or allowing employees to from home for a certain amount of days per week., consider a more flexible arrangement that allows staff to flourish in all environments, at any given time. For example, by offering
3. 31% ofstaff say they feel they could be less managed
Capterra asked micromanaged. The rest (88%) sat somewhere in the middle.and non- staff to put themselves on a scale with regards to how well they feel they’re managed. There was only a small minority of feeling extremely unsupported or extremely
However, there were some key differences between the answers ofvs non- .
More than half (56%) of employees who arein the office say they’re managed just right. This is slightly less for at 43%.
are also more likely to feel their manager could loosen the reins. Around a third (31%) of them said they believe they could be ‘left more to their own devices,’ compared to just 20% of non- .
How to apply this to yourpolicy
As a manager, it’s your duty to ensure your team canat peak , but in a setting, it can be tricky to provide the right amount of support without interfering.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a one, set formula for getting this right—primarily because every is different. However, if managers are worried about staff slipping into bad habits when out of the office, set some ground rules. Here are five examples:
- Get dressed before starting
- from a desk or table (where possible)
- Remove distractions (where possible)
- Respond to messages within an hour
- Let your team know when you’re going on breaks.
policies provide an ideal opportunity for companies to establish how they expect staff to operate while from home. By including these ground-rules, it instantly puts everyone on the same page.
4. 27% ofstaff feel very comfortable taking entitled breaks
Just over a quarter (27%) ofstaff said they’re very comfortable to take their entitled breaks; compared to more than a third (35%) of non- staff.
Additionally, there is a 10% decrease instaff feeling very comfortable to finish at the end of their workday. This suggests that haven’t settled into a healthy -life balance yet.
How to apply this to yourpolicy
Employers must keep an eye on how many hours their staff members are time-tracking software. However, businesses should use their policy to explain the reasons why they’ve chosen to use monitoring tools. Not doing so can negatively impact trust and lead to employees feeling policed rather than supported.to prevent issues, such as burnout. One way to monitor this is through
5. Use ofmonitoring tools increased by 15% during COVID-19
Since COVID-19 restrictions came in, 15% more business leaders within small and mid-sized businesses are using . However, 44% said they were already using it. monitoring software
Capterra asked business leaders and employees to give their stance on whether they believedmonitoring software is generally positive or negative for businesses: 73% said it was positive. However, this number changes depending on whether the respondent is operating in the office or at home.
78% ofleaders think monitoring tools are positive, compared to 51% of non- leaders.
Those in the office are also more likely to say the software has no impact on the business. This indicates that business leaders see less of a need for the software when operating in an office structure.
In general, employees are significantly less enthusiastic about tracking tools in comparison to their leaders. However, similar to above,tended to see more value in monitoring tools than those who are office-based.
How to apply this to yourpolicy
The majority of employees said they feel —while the remaining few didn’t believe it would have any impact at all. With this in mind, business leaders should to win the buy-in of employees to justify the use of tracking software. Otherwise, they risk amplifying anxiety and concerns.monitoring could negatively impact the business
Find the right balance when creatingpolicies
A large amount of successful —which should save you some headaches later on from discovering people have a different perception of what ‘flexible’ means.arrangements is founded on trust. However, establishing a policy puts everyone on the same page
If this your first flexiblepolicy, you may want to consider involving your staff in the conversation. Start by defining the type of arrangement that will enable your employees to thrive. For example, what tools do they need to be successful? With their perspective, you’re more likely to create a policy that keeps employees happy.
Remote Working Statistics: Survey methodology:
Capterra ran a survey to highlight the most important from 2020, to allow companies to make better-informed decisions around policies.
The survey ran during October 2020 and had 1,400 take part. To qualify for this survey, had to be employees of an Australian small or medium-sized business.