UK office workers do not feel as though they have clear, formalised communications around working hours, availability, productivity and ability to withstand economic turmoil

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, organisations across the world have had no choice but to close their offices and switch to a work-from-home model. However, six months since the wide-spread adoption of remote working began, many UK workers are still unsure as to what their employer expects of them.

Wrike, the most versatile collaborative work management platform, today announced the findings from its 2020 global remote work survey. According to these, 47 per cent of UK office workers still do not feel as though they have had clear, formalised communications around working hours, availability and productivity. In addition, more than half (54 per cent) admit to not understanding the current state of the business – as well as their employer’s overall plan to survive the economic toll of COVID-19 – due to a lack of communication.

Information flow failure

With many businesses struggling to survive the initial wave of the pandemic, communication appears to have taken a backseat and, in the majority of cases, important information is not being disseminated throughout the workforce. In fact, Wrike’s survey reveals that in 42 per cent of cases it is only management that is being directly briefed on plans to survive the economic toll of the pandemic before being asked to pass this information along.

Many organisations are yet to take steps to tackle the problem, with just 35 per cent of HR teams putting centralised projects and initiatives in place to encourage company communication. As a result, the majority (60 per cent) of organisations are also failing to share experiences and examples of best practice from team to team, which could have a negative impact on overall productivity and development.

To make matters worse, this communication barrier doesn’t stop at employees feeling kept in the dark by their managers and HR teams. They are also not feeling listened to. Wrike’s survey found that over half (49 per cent) of workers do not feel as though their feedback is being used to improve processes while working remotely. This could help to explain why 41 per cent of those surveyed still feel as if they do not have all the infrastructure, hardware, data and platforms they need to be productive when working from home. This includes broadband internet, monitors, VPN access and desk set up.

Technology and transparency: the keys to productivity

For many, remote working is here to stay in some form or another and so supporting employees and ensuring that they are able to continue to deliver as they would have done in the office environment should be a key priority for all businesses. Yet, these findings show there is still a long way to go.

David McGeough, Director of International Marketing at Wrike, said: “For many UK organisations, ensuring continuity and survival was understandably the first concern when the pandemic struck. However, as the months go by, and many employees continue to work remotely, leadership teams will need to find new ways to set expectations and be more transparent around how they plan to survive any resulting economic downturn.”

“It’s really important for businesses to be able to communicate effectively, regardless of where their employees are working from. As well as modern technologies that enable this, centralised projects and initiatives will be essential in order to nurture a working environment in which everyone feels both fully informed and listened to. It is only then that businesses can future-proof their remote working business model and achieve the same or greater levels of productivity that they would have before the pandemic.”

Lisa Baker

Author Lisa Baker

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