Working From Home May Not Be For Everyone, But Mobility Is

Photo by Alejandro Escamilla on Unsplash

There are countless studies that tackle the productivity debate regarding remote working versus driving to the office every day. But few have amassed the bulk of data found in Dell & Intel’s Global Evolving Workforce Study.

Commissioned by the technology duo and conducted by TNS Global, the research aims to pinpoint today’s workplace trends. Specifically, where and how people like to work and the technologies they prefer to employ. Two things jump at you from the data.

Office workers vs. remote workers

The study polled roughly 4,800 full-time employees in small, medium and large-sized organizations across a dozen countries, in nine industries. Right off the bat the interviewers found that the 9-to-5 workday is slowly dying at the hand of remote working. The survey found that 52 percent of employees believe that those working from home are at least as productive as those in the office. Many of them see remote working as a way to be even more productive.

It’s not something we haven’t witnessed ourselves, but the research uncovered something else too. Apparently the trend doesn’t apply everywhere (or at least not as much). 4 out of 10 employees in China, India, Turkey and UAE are of the opinion that working from home actually harms productivity. Worse still, 29 percent of those polled in developed countries said they were on the fence, not knowing what to think.

But of those with first hand experience (i.e. who occasionally work from home):

  • half believe they are more productive at home than in the office
  • of the remaining half, 36 percent believe they are equally productive at home as in the office
  • just 14 percent say they are less productive

So while it works for most individuals, some people simply aren’t cut for it. Whether it’s in their nature to procrastinate or there’s just too much noise around the house, a good chunk of those polled didn’t find remote working a viable solution to improving their workday.

Back to those who do find it beneficial, the poll uncovered that remote workers sleep more (30%), drive less (40%), and feel less stress (46%). Taking the good with the bad, 20% of the same people admitted to exercising less and 38% confessed that they snacked more while working from home.

Focus turns to mobile

Interviewed by IT BusinessEdge, Steve Lalla, a Dell vice president and general manager, revealed another not-so-surprising finding from the TNS research. Namely, that people are increasingly turning to mobile devices to do their work.

“This focus on mobility has influenced our security and management offerings to support this emerging environment,” he said.

Most of the staffers polled were optimistic about the future of technology, claiming they expected it to keep evolving while adding benefits to the workforce’s capabilities. As many as 92 percent of the subjects said they saw voice recognition as a replacement for keyboards, while 87% said they expected tablets to make laptops irrelevant. Just as many said that keyboards and mice will become a thing of the past as command input will soon switch to hand gestures.

At the same time, employees don’t expect these changes to fundamentally alter the way people work in the office and / or at home. Only 34 percent of respondents think their job will be fully automated by the time they kick the bucket. While the UK, US and Japan prefer more human touch in their work lives, emerging countries like UAE, India, and Turkey are more inclined to increase productivity through technology.

For the full “truth” behind tech in the workforce, check out the 2014 Dell Global Evolving Workforce Study in its entirety.

Post A Reply