Younger employees “find remote working more difficult”

Despite the distractions of home schooling and working under our partners’ feet, it is actually the younger generations who are suffering more from working remotely. According to London-based tech developer Studio Graphene, 28% of Millennials have struggled to adapt, compared to just 11% of those over the age of 55. Their struggles came down to issues with technology, organisation and their internet connection, plus unsuitable living conditions.  

The real winners of working from home

Technology companies have been declared the “real winners” of working from home while the sports and hospitality industries continue to suffer. As giants such as Facebook, Twitter, Shopify and Square move towards a permanent working from home policy, others have benefitted from the uptake in internet use – in particular, videoconferencing platforms. However, experts warn that companies may have to adjust their hardware systems to foster these changes long-term.

Remote working takes the right “personality”

It’s time to start thinking about remote work as a skill set that can be developed and honed, says Tomoko Yokoi, researcher at the Global Centre for Digital Business Transformation. As with any skills-building, workers should identify their personality traits to see which ones serve them best for working remotely, for example, their willingness to work as part of a team. A global survey shows the best remote workers value communication and evaluation above all other things.

Why permanent remote working isn’t for everyone

Beware the short-term benefits of productivity and home comforts, warns one small business writer. While more and more companies are pivoting towards a “permanent” work from home scenario, others may soon find they miss the camaraderie of working face-to-face, says Gene Marks. He argues that employees may lose sight of the company’s values by working from home permanently. Having worked virtually for 10 years, he’s well equipped to argue both sides – and says the office isn’t on its way out just yet.  

How to avoid “technology saturation”

The experts at IT Pro are extolling the virtues of collaboration tools, which allow users to have real connections thanks to seeing their peers’ facial expressions. However, they also warn that we should avoid “technology saturation”, by avoiding too many messages and not always hopping on a 30-minute videoconference call that could have been a five-minute phone chat. He adds that we need to remember work/life balance and use these collaboration tools to create “virtual social spaces” as well as professional ones.

Chancellor announces extension to job retention scheme

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has announced that the UK’s job retention furlough scheme will continue until the end of October. There will be no reduction in the 80% as originally set out, but the government will try to encourage more workers to return to the workplace if it is safe to do so from August. Non-furloughed workers may not be able to return to office environments until November, subject to government guidelines.

Are we getting tired of working from home?

Workers who previously spent their days in offices may be becoming “tired” of working from home: but it’s no reflection on the collaboration itself. Rather, working parents are discussing their concerns over educating children, as well as suffering from so-called “Zoom fatigue”.  Britain’s workers are being advised to take regular exercise and breaks to look after their mental health.

Twitter will allow “most employees” to WFH

It seems not everybody shares the same opinions of working from home. For some, it spells an increase in productivity and more time to spend with family. Social networking giant Twitter has told its 5,000 employees that they can work from home even after the coronavirus pandemic passes, claiming that they were in a “unique position” to be able to offer this new flexibility.

Managers may be the last people to adjust to remote collaboration

Over in the US, up to two thirds of workers claim their lives have improved as they have adjusted to remote collaboration. However, according to a KPMG survey of 1,000 employees, managers had the hardest time adjusting to remote collaboration. They cited issues such as work/life balance and more demanding/overwhelming day to day work. Leaders are the “glue that holds remote workers together” and need to adjust to prosper through this pandemic.

The next challenge for CIOs

Chief Innovation Officers are facing more challenges than most when it comes to remote collaboration. However, with this way of working look set to change the foreseeable future, CIOs are now looking ahead to their next challenge. Now that their true worth is being seen from an IT perspective, their ongoing objectives are to ensure business continuity, foster new ways of working and prepare for future crises, says Mark Samuels at ZDNet.