Survey sheds light on role of employers in embracing a connected culture to power remote and prepare for hybrid workforces
RingCentral, Inc., a leading provider of global enterprise cloud communications, collaboration, and contact center solutions, released the findings of its Connected Culture Report, a new study that explores how remote work impacts employee productivity and well-being. According to the report, employees working for companies that foster a “connected culture” are twice as likely to be productive when working from anywhere, than those that don’t. The study defines companies that foster a “connected culture” as those that blend effective technology that helps teams stay connected with a commitment to supporting work/life balance, and frequent opportunities for people to interact with one another. As positive news about a vaccine emerges, the survey findings reiterate the important role employers play in building a culture that encourages employee productivity and well-being — key factors for an engaged remote and hybrid workforce working from anywhere.
Conducted by CITE Research in partnership with Kaleido Insights, the study polled 4,000 knowledge workers across four countries about their levels of productivity, well-being, and connection to team members following moving to remote work with the onset of the pandemic.
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The overall takeaway: Embracing a connected culture leads to significant gains in employee productivity and well-being.
- Employees who feel more connected are more productive: of those employees who self-reported as more productive, 71% reported feeling more connected to their colleagues than before the pandemic, compared to 22% who reported feeling the same or less connected to their colleagues.
- Of those who reported working at companies that foster a connected culture, 34% say they’re more productive working from home. By contrast, among those whose employers do not foster a connected culture, only 15% say they were more productive working from home.
- Employees at companies that promote a connected culture cite better physical (58%) and emotional well-being (55%) than employees of companies that do not promote a connected culture (50% and 48%, respectively).
- Employees referenced several company actions that helped them feel more connected. The most common actions cited by employees include: frequent employee communication (50%), enhanced collaboration tools (26%), virtual happy hours (24%), peer chats (22%), and group video games (15%).
“While many companies have endured the pandemic admirably, the nerves of the collective global workforce have begun to fray. This study confirms what we suspected: connecting individuals with each other leads to better emotional well-being and productivity,” said corporate innovation expert Jeremiah Owyang, who is also a co-founder of Kaleido Insights. “Our research uncovered some groups that are not thriving in this remote work environment as well. These findings are useful in shining a light on potential blindspots for some organizations. Beyond establishing a connected culture, employers need to recognize the gaps and take steps to ensure all their employees feel supported and productive.”
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The Connected Culture Report also revealed a number of other impacts stemming from the shift to remote work.
The shift has not leveled the playing field for women.
Differences between men and women in the workplace have carried over to remote working during the pandemic, with men reportedly handling remote work better than women during the pandemic.
- 58% of men, compared to 48% of women, said their mental health is good or better than before the shift to remote work.
- Group work, defined as any task performed as part of a team, was the least productive task for women, with 46% saying they struggled with it, compared to 37% of men.
Group work is a struggle for many working remotely during the pandemic.
- Nearly half of all employees (41%) have struggled more with group work than other types of work tasks, including customer interaction (28%), information gathering (18%), and task execution (14%).
- Those who struggled most with group work were: women, non-caretakers, those less connected to colleagues, those whose companies aren’t encouraging connections, and those who did not previously work remotely.
Caretakers reported a better sense of well-being and productivity during the new remote work environment, despite more household interruptions.
- Caretakers reported higher levels of well-being (57%) and productivity (35%) than non-caretakers (51% and 24%, respectively).
- 32% of caretakers felt more connected to their teams in a remote work environment than their non-caretaker counterparts.
A new, well-rounded “remote champion” has emerged amid the shift to global remote work. “Remote champions” are defined as those who have been more resilient during this pandemic and scored high marks across productivity, physical and emotional health, and feelings of connection with others.
According to the Connected Culture Report, nearly one in ten (8.6 percent) workers reported feeling more productive, physically active, emotionally well, and more connected to colleagues during the shift to remote work. For many “remote champions,” the connected thread is a commitment by their company to facilitating frequent connections with peers.
“The results of this study are so meaningful in the way they show concrete steps any business can take towards adopting a connected culture. It is what employees want,” said Anand Eswaran, president and chief operating officer, RingCentral. “Our company is founded on the power of connecting people. The study validates our belief that harnessing that power leads to a productive and engaged remote workforce, as well as the hybrid workforce we anticipate in the future.”
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