October 9, 2020
There are some good things about working in an office. Constant supplies of tea and coffee (if you’re lucky), gossip with your co-workers, and paper clips in every colour. But one of the best things has to be that when something goes wrong with your computer, the in-house IT helpdesk will have it sorted out quicker than you can say ‘so which buttons do you want me to press?!’ However, home workers don’t have this luxury.
Working from home has been a whole different ball game; this time, we’re on our own. And that applies to the tech we use for work, too. Ezvid Wiki, a video wiki, software and media company, surveyed 4,020 workers and claims 34 percent of American employees working remotely during the pandemic say their work is regularly disrupted by technology problems.
These issues seem to affect some home workers more than others. It appears Mainers are most affected by things like endless buffering, jammed printers or having to squint at their screens, where 63 percent report having regular tech problems. Meanwhile, those lucky old Californians appear to be the best equipped in their home/office set up, with only 8 percent reporting problems.
Of course, when something goes wrong, you have to try and fix it. On average, workers in America spend 1.4 hours per week trying to figure out the problem (and probably just turning things off and back on again). Minnesotans came out unluckiest, as people in this state spend 2.9 hours per week screaming at their screens, while Alaskans, North Dakotans, Rhode Islanders and Vermonters equally must be positively zen-like, as they only have to devote 25 minutes a week to fixing these problems.
In addition, over 1 in 3 (37 percent) employees working remotely say they’ve had to cut video conference calls short because someone on the call had poor internet connection. Almost one in ten home workers with poor internet admit they have tried to guess a neighbour’s wifi password and piggyback on their service without asking! And, understandably, nearly two-thirds of all employees working remotely think their employer should be paying for their internet costs.
“There is no denying that tech issues can make or break your productivity”
The research also claims that over one-third said having colleagues to speak to is the thing they miss most about working from the office. Just over a fifth (21 percent) of home workers say the thing they miss most is the convenience of on-site tech support, while 21 percent said they miss the convenience of office equipment, such as printers, 14 percent admit they miss the free tea, coffee and refreshments, and 4 percent say they miss eating out for lunch. And going forward, over half of all employees would prefer their work location to be a mix of home and the office.
An additional 55 percent of employees say if they were applying for a new job, they are more likely to choose an employer who allows working from home.
Even if you are enjoying spending more time with family due to social distancing restrictions, it can be challenging to focus on work tasks if it is noisy in the background, or if someone is constantly interrupting your concentration. This might explain why 1 in 10 (10 percent) employees working remotely admit there have been times when they have worked from their car in an attempt to get some peace and quiet!
Finally, some people may be used to the buzz of an office space and prefer working with some sort of background noise. This may be why 24 percent of employees admit they have streamed movies or series while working from home.
‘While some employees may enjoy the benefits of working from home, there is no denying that tech issues can make or break your productivity during the day,’ says Caroline Eliasson from Ezvid Wiki.
‘If you find yourself struggling consistently, it could be worth checking to see if your company offers virtual tech support for employees who are working from home, as well as double checking your software and features are up to date.’
Image by Mediamodifier