December 10, 2020
Productivity, morale and the ability to serve customers are being hamstrung by technology issues at European mid-size businesses, accordingly to research commissioned by Ricoh Europe. The research explores the remote working experience of 632 European office workers during the Coronavirus pandemic, at firms with between 250 and 999 employees. It claims that these companies are failing to adapt to the challenges of remote working, setting them up poorly for future success.
At a time when business continuity is key to remaining solvent, 24 percent of workers say they do not have the tools they need to deliver results for customers while working remotely. Additionally, 27 percent say they lack the tools they need to collaborate with colleagues when working away from the office.
Challenges with remote work are also impacting security and compliance: 27 percent report that following company procedures is hard when working remotely because the technology in place does not enable it. This could have severe consequences for organisations that have to follow industry-specific compliance processes or more broad reaching legislative requirements such as GDPR.
“There’s no doubt there’s an element of ‘survival mode’ in many organisations at the moment.”
Workers are failing to receive the support they need when experiencing issues with technology, with 30 percent reporting difficulties communicating with their IT teams who are too busy.
Frustrations with technology and the inability to collaborate effectively are taking their toll on morale and staff wellbeing. Almost a third (31 percent) of workers report feeling unmotivated and disengaged with their work due to communication and technology issues when working remotely. These problems have hit the work-life balance too, with 42 percent working longer hours in comparison to when they were working primarily from the office.
David Mills, CEO, Ricoh Europe, says: “There’s no doubt there’s an element of ‘survival mode’ in many organisations at the moment. But when your back is against the wall, the adage ‘you need to work smarter, not harder’ rings true. Even if only a handful of the workforce is experiencing challenges, it can have a significant impact on the entire organisation. The path forward is clear: identify and resolve those technology-related issues when it comes to collaborating with colleagues and following company procedures. Failing to address employees’ remote working needs could scupper many other long-term objectives. It’s a balancing act, but only businesses that keep every plate spinning will continue along the path towards long-term success.”
Read full report here.