Working From Home Policy: 2020 Wrike Survey Results

Working From Home Policy- Woman

Does your company permit remote work? Will you be working from home in the coming weeks? With the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) globally, more companies have directed their employees to work from home. For health and safety concerns, more employees have taken this route to prevent further spread of the virus. Although there are companies that have a working from home policy, not all companies have such plans.

Working From Home Policy

Remote work has increased in the past two decades. There’s no doubt remote work will accelerate in the coming years. But despite that, not all companies offer remote work options. Across the globe, around 44% of companies don’t offer remote work for their employees. Sure, not all jobs are meant for remote work; for instance, manufacturing and retail-type work would be some exceptions. But that trend could change as the years pass by.

Amidst the ongoing health crisis, there are some concerns about working from home. Wrike, a project management software company, surveyed employees’ opinions about remote work. The findings were quite interesting and open a discussion about the future of work. In this post, I will review some parts of the survey, including the following:

1.) What the survey included

2.) Key findings

3.) Recommendations

4.) My thoughts: When a crisis presents an opportunity

Working From Home Policy: What the survey covered

Working From Home Policy- Chair

Wrike wanted to know how prepared employers were for events such as an ongoing pandemic. If companies mandated remote work, were they ready to continue with business as usual? The survey covered around 1,000 employees working at mid-sized companies (more than 200 employees). Their goal was to get different perceptions from employees, managers, and generations on remote work. Also, whether they feel remote work is the best option to address a pandemic. 

Survey key findings

Some of the survey’s results were noteworthy to consider. Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • Around half of the respondents said they never worked from home
  • About 23% of respondents worked from home during particular circumstances, such as caring for sick children or severe weather events.
  • About 9% worked remotely full-time, & 9% worked from home a couple of days a week

Other takeaways

The survey also asked respondents how comfortable they’d be working remotely. A majority of them said that working from home may harm their productivity. Here are more numbers:

  • Over half of respondents said a work from home policy would harm their company’s productivity
  • Around 43% of respondents don’t think they can do their jobs effectively while working from home. Distractions at home (i.e., children & pets) can be challenging to stay focused

Between generations, millennials reported being more likely to work effectively at home, compared to those in generation X and baby boomers.

Working From Home- ChartTry Wrike: fast, easy, and efficient project collaboration software

Recommendations from Wrike

The survey indicates that some companies are not prepared to offer remote work options. About 40% of employees said their employers don’t have the technology to allow them to work remotely. Examples include video conferencing, messaging platforms, and cloud-based office suites. These virtual tools can significantly benefit employees who work remotely.

Andrew Filev, the founder of Wrike, identifies these findings to be concerning as remote work becomes more popular. He says,

“We see a clear need for more businesses to move beyond email as the primary means of internal collaboration so that their employees will have better alignment and faster communication while working remotely. There’s also a massive need for investment in tools that can empower workers to do their best work from anywhere — at home or in the office.”

It’s a good wake-up for more companies to look into providing the tools necessary for employees working from home. Without it, it becomes a challenge to do remote work during a time when needed.

My thoughts on the survey

Wrike

I’m not surprised by the generational differences in remote work. I’m part of the millennial age group, so I understand why younger people like me are more tech-savvy. But looking at the other numbers, there’s a good portion of workers who are not willing to work from home. Yes, it would be a difficult adjustment for some, but most beneficial in the long term. So it’s good that Wrike conducted this survey to raise awareness on remote work.

Crisis = Opportunity

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I see a pandemic as a unique opportunity to shift the conversation about the future of work. I'm hearing discussions about whether remote work will become a permanent option for most companies. If it helps save time (i.e., commuting to and from work), it’s something worthwhile to consider. As remote work continues to grow, it can change people’s perception of how work should be conducted. Time will tell, but it’s good to have those discussions now.

Wrap-Up

As the coronavirus continues to cause fear and panic, it’s lead many employers to switch to remote work. It remains to be seen whether it’ll be temporary, or if it’s something permanent for the better. Either way, it’s an excellent way to rethink the workplace regarding productivity. Although we never want pandemics to occur, they can provide us with better opportunities for remote work. So that next time, if an epidemic takes place, the world will be better prepared than it is now.

What do you think about Wrike’s survey? Do you work for a company that provides work from home policies?

Leave a comment below and please share this post with others.

What Wrike offers

In response to the ongoing pandemic, Wrike is offering to all new users a free professional account, up to six months! If you’re not familiar with Wrike’s software, check out my recent review of their services.

If you’re ready to sign up for a free professional account, click on the banner below for more details.

Try Wrike: fast, easy, and efficient project collaboration software

 

 

Professional

Eric is a time management consultant and owner of the blog, quitkillingtime.com. He takes great pride in helping people manage their time, personally and professionally. Eric is a firm believer in time freedom, as he believes in taking ownership of time. “Time is your most important asset. It can be your best friend or worst enemy. How you use your time can shape the future you desire to have.” In his leisure time, Eric loves to write and read whenever possible. He likes to go for long walks out in nature and been taking Zumba classes every week at his local gym. You can follow Eric via Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

10 Comments

  1. Nice post. In the wake of this world crisis on coronavirus, working from home is now the way forward for most companies. I think its more healthier and profitable than to get all your staff crowded and fall sick at once and cease the entire productivity. Nice research on this issue. Well explained and the results are accurate. very educative post.

    • Thank you very much!

      Yes- moving forward, I think this approach will be the new reality. With what’s going on with health problems, it’ll be more common in the future. I agree with you that it’s healthier, and ultimately make more people productive.

      Thanks again for sharing your input! Much appreciated!

  2. I work in the healthcare industry, dealing directly with patients on a daily basis so working remotely isn’t an option for me. While the situation is still manageable in my region, the virus outbreak made me realized that no one should depend on a single income stream. We are living in challenging times and I foresee more instability will come our way in the near future. 

    I don’t know how I could transform my skills to working remotely, will definitely check out what Wrike has to offer especially with the 6 months free-account. Thanks for sharing this. 

    • Of course, Cathy! Yes, it’s hard to work remote in the healthcare industry. You’re right that relying on one income stream is kind of a thing of the past. With what is going on, it’s important to have more than one income stream. Especially with companies not offering remote work, some employees will be out of luck.

      I wish you all the best. If you’re interested in checking out Wrike’s software, feel free to reach out and let me know about your experience.

      Thanks for sharing your feedback. I greatly appreciate it!

  3. Well, I think wrike did a brilliant job on the survey that they carried out because in a good way they have helped so many people understand how this whole thing works out. I agree that many people do not understand how to work from home or that the employer does not have the right facilities but the world is learning. I m sure after this virus is over, companies will but things in place in expectation of any case like this again. Nice article you have here.

    • Thanks, Henderson. 

      Yeah, with the current health outbreak right now, it sure is a learning curve for many companies. Even I couldn’t believe these companies weren’t adequately prepared in an infestation such as COVID-19. But there are lessons to be learned, and hopefully, it’ll be easier to adjust the next time around.

      Thanks for sharing your input. I greatly appreciate it!

  4. Right now, I’m glad to have my online business. It’s not much, but it’s growing. My daughter has to work from home; she’s in the phone industry, so they have ways to make it happen. 

    But for many out there the times are very trying, we in uncharted territory right now. So all eyes are on keeping safe, yet having an income coming.

    How hard it must be for those who have never worked from home, what a concept it must be them. The Wrike survey seems to be an eye-opener. 

    • Yeah, it sure is an eye-opener, Jagi.

      I’ve been aware of it for some time now. But it’s a good reminder that people need other sources of income besides being attached to one income. If more people understood that and had those options, I don’t think most people would be struggling. It would be an inconvenience, but the financial stress wouldn’t be as high.

      I hope more companies are aware of this, but more importantly, people look for other ways to make money during times such as now.

      Thanks for sharing your input! Much appreciated!

  5. Your guide is very helpful . I work in the healthcare industry, dealing directly with patients on a daily basis so working remotely isn’t an option for me. While the situation is still manageable in my region, the virus outbreak made me realized that no one should depend on a single income stream. We are living in challenging times and I foresee more instability will come our way in the near future

    • Thanks, Lalita. Yeah, I couldn’t agree more with you on your thoughts.

      Being tied to one income stream is not enough these days. For those who believe that’s the way to go, I encourage them to have second thoughts about it. Hopefully, this type of thinking will change as the months and years go by.

      I applaud you for your work in the healthcare sector. I’m sure it’s not easy these days. But keep up the hard work, you’ll get through it!

      Thanks again for sharing your feedback! It’s much appreciated- all the best!

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