• 92% of companies initiated a new implementation to support work-from-home safety precautions.
  • 85% of employees prefer to work in the office for productivity reasons.
  • A total of 80% have experienced issues that should not have existed in the usual office work setting.

People have felt the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, not only directed towards health but in almost all facets of daily life. In efforts to protect the human population against the unprecedented virus, safety measures that forced lifestyle changes were encouraged — including remote working.

Authorities worldwide— with an aim to distance people from one another— have required people to work remotely and temporarily close various public establishments.  As part of the home quarantine measures, companies worldwide adapted the work-from-home operations to safeguard employees’ health.

For some, it has been difficult to adapt but for the majority, the work-from-home experience was enjoyable despite the encountered setbacks, according to the findings of the Real Research survey. Recommendations also surfaced, such as more communication was needed in between to fill in the gaps in the remote and face-to-face interaction.

Unfortunately, other workers whose jobs cannot be done remotely were laid off due to temporary or permanent shut down operations. As well for the more fortunate who kept their jobs, Real Research was able to find out more about their experience.

Workplace Cooperation Is Not An Issue

As an initial question, we asked our respondents to choose the main activity they engage in daily for work. Among the options we prepared, almost half (46%) have pointed out that email and phone communication as their main daily activity at work. It was followed by internal interaction with meeting attendance and team collaboration (21%).

Creation or preparation of outputs comes in at third (15%)  and process work that keeps the organization in order (8%) follows at fourth. Based on these, most people require external communication and internal collaboration to carry out their tasks successfully.

When working away from the office, the set up would seem less productive than usual. The survey also reveals complications were present during the whole remote work setting. When the respondents were asked whether they encountered any issues or problems that would have not occurred or existent if they work in one office, 80% said ‘Yes’ while the remaining 20%  said ‘No’.

Despite the possible setbacks, delays, and problems that occurred during the span of the work-from-home period, people still rate their experience as ‘excellent’ (30%) as well  ‘good’ and ‘somewhat good’ at a tie (23%). Some also rated the overall working condition as ‘fair’ (14%).

For this question, there are more positive feedback as opposed to those who said ‘Somewhat Poor’ (8%) and ‘Poor’ (3%). There are less than 1% who said it was a ‘Horrible’ experience and they ‘never worked from home’.

Adaptation in the New Work Setting

Insights also showed that people tried to adapt to the situation by consuming media, predominantly reading online (37%). People even resorted to reading books (21%) and watching videos online (21%) to cope with the entire situation.Some listened to podcasts (11%) and few others sought the advice of friends (5%).

Aside from the staff themselves, companies and their HR department also made adjustments for the new work setup. About 92% of companies introduced new implementations to ensure productivity and a smooth transition. Only less than 10% didn’t show any effort at all.

Part of the initiative laid out was: implementation of new rules that encourage employee responsibility and responsiveness (50%); implementation of a new monitoring system to ensure productivity; and buying a premium communication tool for employees to collaborate (30%); and communicate conveniently with others (12%).

Conclusion: Clear Communication is Key

Though the overall experience was surprisingly high and positive. Respondents admit to enhancements to have a better working environment where communication is key.

At the top, communication (32%) was the number one thing to ensure productivity at work. At second, is clarity of tasks  (23%) or clear instructions from superiors. Following communication tools (18%) such as Skype, Zoom, and other meeting platforms. All pointing to communication and collaboration gaps during the remote situation.

Despite all the adjustments, it seems like there is room for improvement for communication issues. This is supported by the fact that many respondents believe improvements in communication are needed when working apart from each other and tools are needed to support this essential foundation of work.

Finally, about 85% of people want to go back to the usual workplace as they admit to being more productive in the office space, considering the available resources and close contact with other colleagues.