The state of remote working—top benefits and challenges

by | Apr 27, 2020 | Covid-19, Public Relations

The coronavirus pandemic has dislocated the large majority of the American workforce— according to a new survey from B2B ratings and reviews platform Clutch, two-thirds of employees are currently working remotely at least part of the work week.

The research found that 44 percent of all workers are currently working from home 5 or more days per week, up from 17 percent before the pandemic. A mere 34 percent of workers aren’t working remotely at all during the pandemic, likely a direct result of most states only allowing essential out-of-home work or a reflection of workers who have been laid off.

The state of remote working—top benefits and challenges

Not having to commute is employees’ favorite part of remote work

People appreciate the personal time they have gained from not having a commute while working from home.

Nearly half of employees (47 percent) say no commute is a benefit of remote work. Employees also enjoy a more flexible schedule as a result of working from home (43 percent).

The state of remote working—top benefits and challenges

“I commute about an hour each way, so not commuting saves me both time and money,” said Sophie Conner, marketing manager of service desk software company HaloITSM, in a news release. “With the extra time, I have been able to start running and have more time for my own hobbies.”

Many workers are taking advantage of the hours saved from not having to commute to work.

The state of remote working—top benefits and challenges

Collaboration difficulties is employees’ least favorite part of remote work

In a typical office setting, employees can ask a simple question by visiting colleagues at their desk and quickly getting an answer. Now, employees have to wait until colleagues open their email or sees their message before answering their question. One-third of workers (33 percent) say it’s harder to collaborate with co-workers while working remotely.

The state of remote working—top benefits and challenges

“Before this, I could simply ask someone a quick question when they sat next to me,” said Charlie Worrall, Digital Marketing Executive at web design agency Imaginaire Digital, in the release. “Instead, I’ll email them, they take a while to respond, so I’ll call, and it takes up a little too much time.”

To reduce communication issues, however, many companies are turning to collaboration tools such as Zoom (36 percent), Microsoft Teams (19 percent), and Skype (17 percent).

The state of remote working—top benefits and challenges

“There is always something to do at home: books, TV, kids, and many more distractions at every turn,” said T.Y. Hlangwane, of PR firm Magnolia Haus Communications, in the release. “It takes a truly disciplined individual to work at home.”

Read the full report here.

Clutch surveyed 365 workers across the U.S. Forty-three percent of respondents are female; 35% are male; 22% are unknown. Respondents are 18-24 (8%); 25-34 (14%); 35-44 (15%); 45-54 (13%); 55-64 (11%); 65 and older (11%); and unknown (27%).

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter