Companies Take the Plunge and Invest in Remote Working

Office technology giant Xerox has found that companies across the world are heavily investing in tech, systems and software to help their workforce balance working in the office and an increasingly Covid-19 amount at home. 

600 IT leaders from companies with over 500 employees, including C suite level, from five continents were asked about their priorities now that the world of work seems to be at home.  Interestingly, 82% expect to return to the office in 12-18 months’ time, and the report shows us how many companies are spending money to support their people with the sudden surge in home working. 

Around 56% of firms have increased their technology budgets, with CTO’s under pressure to provide business continuity following the sudden stay at home orders.  Digital transformation projects in around 34% of organisations are being accelerated too in response to the Covid-19 challenge.  HR are of course also developing their strategies, with almost 60% planning to review and amend their current remote working policy. 

Key findings include:

  • WFH is here to stay – Prior to Covid-19, network and data security (33%) was the biggest concern with a remote workforce.  Productivity (24%) and infrastructure (16%) followed but with a huge belief that in person communication (95%) was vital for personal development and assessment.

Now remote working has in many ways been forced upon some organisations attitudes are changing, with America (86%) being the most confident in their ability to transition into the new hybrid model, followed by the UK (80%), Germany (80%), Canada (77%) and France (75%).

  • The lockdown exposed technology gaps – Only 29% of companies said they were prepared for the sudden order to stay and work from home, with technology causing the most issues.  IT support and workflow solutions caused the biggest problems, while 22% of companies didn’t feel they had effective tools in place for collaboration.
  • Buying patterns have changed – Around 70% of the CTOs and business leaders surveyed said they were re-evaluating their spend on technology and systems.  The survey also showed that businesses (65%) are prioritising cloud-based software. 

The Your Talent Solutions view:

Employees aren’t going back to the office for a while, and when they do it won’t be with the same regularity.  In order to achieve the right balance companies need to consider how their systems and policies can embrace the change.  Maximising the use of current systems has been the priority to this point, but further investment may be necessary.  

Global software giant Citrix published a report in late 2019, before people were talking about Covid-19, that suggested flexible and remote working was worth an estimated $2.36 trillion to the US economy, per year.  Some of our clients embraced remote working years ago, and they have benefited from a greater talent pool as a result of that.  If you traditionally ask your people to be officed based, but have struggled to recruit for a technical or skilled role, consider the commuter situation.  Traffic conditions, peak hours travel and public transport in particular may not be as good as you think getting to and from your offices.  Even offering 1 day at home per week can make a huge difference in the quantity and quality of the talent pool you can call upon.

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