Working smart: Embedding productivity into remote workers’ lives

The global pandemic is giving businesses the chance to reinvent themselves. It’s giving workers the chance to define a new future in terms of where, why and how they work. And, across every industry, it’s giving every organisation the opportunity to redefine what work looks like. If they’re smart about it, organisations have the chance to thrive in a post-COVID-19 world.

In this final blog in our series on the rise of the home enterprise (based on our recent survey of Australian office workers’ experiences during COVID-19), we explore this concept of ‘working smart’.

Working hard, but hardly working?

In the future of work, organisations need to focus on enabling productivity – no matter where or when their employees are working. Only by ‘working smart’ will organisations reap success in a future in which the traditional office is a thing of the past.

Our recent survey found that 80% of Australian office workers have been working as hard, or harder, at home than they would in the office. In fact, one in six (16%) people were working significantly harder out of the office. Age and family play a role in the intensity of remote work. Younger workers (aged 18 to 24), were less likely to work hard at home, while parents were more likely to be working harder.

Worryingly, though, while people were working hard at home, they were not necessarily more productive. Less than half (49%) said they were more productive working from home, while more than one in six (17%) strongly disagreed that they were more productive. So, hours spent at the keyboard did not necessarily equate to tasks ticked off to-do lists.

Smart technology, smarter work 

To rewrite the statistics above, it’s clear that some organisations need to provide more support for remote workforces. Technology can play a key role in this. More than a quarter of office workers agreed that having access to the right productivity tools and platforms – such as Docusign, Slack and Zoom – fostered higher productivity. 

When asked about the work tools and traits that should continue in a post-COVID-19 world, technology featured highly. Australian office workers would like to see video meetings (30%), more digital processes (26%), and standardised use of online tools like Zoom or Docusign (22%). Technologies like these will help organisations to deliver on employees’ main goals:

  • 61% want the ability to work from home when required
  • 50% want the ability to define flexible working hours
  • 44% want to feel trusted in their ability to complete work, even if not in the office

Getting the technology mix right is one of the first steps in enabling this smarter, more flexible way of working.

Another important step in fostering a culture of ‘working smart’ is to empower productivity. Recognition of jobs done well is crucial – people thrive when they are acknowledged for their great work. You might consider a reward system that incentivises employees who do great things in their team or for your business.

Looking to the future of the home enterprise

Following the major disruptions wrought by COVID-19, Australian office workers are ready for change. They are clearly crying out for their employers to support them in working more productively and smartly, from wherever they are.

Download our eBook on the home enterprise to learn more

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