The United States is now the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. With stringent lockdown measures in place, a growing number of people work from home during coronavirus regulations. With 66% of employees now working from home, businesses are having to adapt to this new team dynamic.
This statistic was unveiled by Clutch, a leading software provider for professional services companies. In response to the pandemic, Clutch compiled a report titled ‘Working from home During the Pandemic: The State of Remote Work’. The report surveyed 365 workers across the US about their home working habits.
17% Rise of Working from Home Prior to Pandemic
The research shows that out of the 66% working from home, 44% are working remotely five days or more a week. This is a 17% rise compared to before the pandemic. 39% would prefer to work in an office. 40% prefer to work remotely, the survey found.
For small businesses, the newfound commitment to remote work and enthusiasm for it among employees, presents opportunities and challenges. With 40% of employees preferring to work from home, businesses may want to offer the option to work from home on a permanent basis.
Collaboration Is a Key Remote Working Challenge
One of the biggest challenges working from home creates, is difficulty collaborating with co-workers. 33% of those surveyed said collaboration was the main setback. Other challenges are running into frequent interruptions, with 27% of participants flagging this as their primary challenge.
To overcome such challenges, it is vital small businesses have the right tools in place. The survey found that the top collaboration tool is among remote workers is Zoom (36%). Microsoft Teams was the second favorite tool highlighted by the report, following by Skype.
Permanent work from home options
In response to employees’ embracement of working from home, some companies are planning to offer the option permanently. As Neil Andrew, founder of PPC Protect, fraud protection specialists, commented in Clutch’s report:
“We may keep this structure if staff prefer it. As it would give a good balance between the benefits of working from home and office-based working.”
A lack of commute is the top benefits of working from home, as expressed by 47% of participants. This was followed by a more flexible work schedule, highlighted by 43% of those surveyed.
Feelings of Isolation
Some of the disadvantages highlighted were the feelings of isolation, with 21% of respondents flagging loneliness issues up. A difficulty stopping work at the end of the day and a poor Wi-Fi connection were also among the disadvantages.
The key takeaway of Clutch’s research is that small businesses could be wise to keep working from home an option when the pandemic is over. Having the right communication tools will need to be a priority for small businesses to overcome collaboration concerns.
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