December 10, 2020
Unify Square, the services provider for Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Slack platforms, has released survey results around remote collaboration and communication among enterprises. The survey highlights key perspectives of enterprise employees on workplace collaboration and communication in the midst of the global pandemic.
Findings highlight gaps in stress levels between workers at different job levels and industries and how increased usage of collaboration and UC applications has impacted the success of internal communication at enterprises.
Zoom reigns king of collaboration
Since COVID-19 forced a large majority of the enterprise workforce into remote work, 72 percent of companies rolled out at least one new collaboration application. Zoom reigns king with over 50 percent of enterprises adding the application to their collaboration repertoire, but Microsoft Teams follows closely behind at 43 percent.
Lack of transparency in security and governance
The survey suggests a substantial disconnect between company leadership and lower-level employees related to the security of data and chats. Over 65 percent of owners, C-Levels, and executives admitted their organisation had experienced security incidents related to collaboration or communications, while 83 percent of entry-level employees were operating with blinders not believing that their company was at risk of a collaboration mishap.
Contrary to popular belief, only half of enterprises have implemented heightened governance and security prevention for collaboration applications since moving their workforce to a remote model.
“Even prior to the sudden departure from traditional workspaces, enterprises across the globe were being faced with countless disruptions and concerns regarding governance and security, for collaboration platforms,” said Scott Gode, Chief Marketing Officer, Unify Square. “The need for specialized third-party software, coupled with innovative professional services is more crucial than ever before to help highlight blind spots, and implement and enforce policies to minimize data loss risk.”
Tech workers are taking the brunt of the stress
It’s no surprise that stress levels amongst employees have increased in the wake of the pandemic. Sixty-one percent of technology workers and 63 percent of c-level employees stated their stress levels have risen since working remotely. Conversely, entry-level employees are able to stay relatively stress-free with only 34 percent admitting to feeling increased stress.
Potential causes of stress include the personal challenges that employees are experiencing while working from home, such as missing the routine of being in the office (43 percent), collaborating with colleagues in person (41 percent), distractions at home (35 percent), and juggling personal duties on top of work (32 percent).
Employers aren’t keen on fronting the bill
Getting a home office up to the standards that employees are used to is a challenge for employers and employees alike. Over half of enterprise workers focusing on IT or Security have had to purchase new equipment or hardware (e.g. monitor, headset, webcam) to facilitate their work from home setup, however, only 12 percent said their employer helped or paid for it all financially.
Even with the correct equipment and hardware, 42 percent of enterprise employees ages 18-24 years said that it took about a month to get their home-based office setup at the quality that it did when they were in the office. Yet, 40 percent of those 55 and older said it worked great from day one, which is a surprising comparison from their tech-savvy younger peers who would be expected to have less difficulty with their setup right off the bat.
Home offices aren’t all they’re cracked up to be
Interference from pets (48 percent), someone walking through the background (33 percent), gardeners/contractors making noise (27 percent), children making surprise guest appearances (26 percent), deliveries making noise (26 percent), power outages (24 percent), noisy neighbors (21 percent), and cleaning service vacuuming or cleaning around your workspace (9 percent) were all noted as culprits for distractions while on a conference call.
When the home office wasn’t quite doing it for them, 22 percent of those ages 65 and older admitted to taking conference calls from unconventional locations including the closet, in a car, on a boat, in a store, from a child’s sporting event, and even from the bathroom.
Gaps in productivity perspectives
Perspectives on remote productivity become a major point of contention among enterprises and their employees. Nearly half of tech workers believe that there is a higher set of standards for productivity within their company since working remotely.
The survey unveiled some gaps in perspectives around efficiency across job levels. Forty-four percent of owners, executives, and C-levels believe collaboration with teammates has become much more efficient since moving to a remote model, while only 11 percent of senior management agree. Yet 44 percent of employees said their organization has not taken any steps to help facilitate teamwork in a remote environment.
Image by Gerd Altmann