The coronavirus crisis has been affecting the globe for over five months now, and humans have made many changes to the way they do everyday things in an effort to combat its spread.
Undoubtedly, the most affected aspect of our daily lives has been the way we work. This is why the most widespread response to the pandemic has been the shift to working from home wherever possible.
Now that we have more data around this way of working, the research around it has revealed some fascinating insights. Not least of all that working from home – at least in some form – is here to stay.
Happy homes, happy workers
New research conducted by local market research firm World Wide Worx has shown that parents spending time with children during the work day is one of the reasons working from home has proven successful in South Africa so far.
Somewhat surprisingly, this factor even outranked the importance of a good connection to the internet. 95% of respondents agreed that it was important, versus 93% who indicated that good connectivity was vital.
“It stands to reason, but it’s not what employers think of first,“ says Arthur Goldstuck, managing director of World Wide Worx. “But the finding is clear: the digitalisation of the home office must take into account the personal circumstances of the employee.”
Stress, meanwhile, has actually increased according to the report. This isn’t a surprise: the world is in the grips of a global pandemic, the future is uncertain, and job security and consistent pay remain major concerns. Being able to work from home doesn’t change any of these things.
The report also says managers are most affected by stress, as they bear their own stresses along with that of their teams. This goes hand in hand with respondents’ overwhelming (90%) rejection of the idea that working from home is “more relaxed”.
Digital Transformation Impact
The digitisation of work processes, also known as “digital transformation”, received a boost by the work from home trend. The report says that at the time that companies were transitioning to a work from home model, only 37% had a clear digital transformation strategy in place.
Once the pandemic hit, the drive was on to change that. 56% of respondents indicated that the Covid-19 crisis pushed them into making digital transformation more of a priority. Projects that were expected to take months or years to implement happened in just weeks.
Working from home is here to stay
The best news from the report is that working from home isn’t going away. The pandemic has given many organisations the motivation needed to implement a work from home strategy, and it’s clearly working.
Consequently, it’s likely to remain a part of every organisation’s strategy once the crisis is over.