One year into the pandemic and undergoing different levels of lockdowns and quarantine, employees have somewhat adjusted to the new remote work setup. This, according to Dell Technologies’ (Dell) inaugural Remote Work Readiness (RWR) Index, which finds 81% of employees in the Asia-Pacific region and Japan (APJ) are prepared for long-term telecommuting.
RWR Index is a study commissioned by Dell Technologies, and conducted by Kantar, that captures data across seven markets in the APJ) region ( Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, and South Korea) on the readiness of the workforce for long-term remote work.
“The events of 2020 have redefined the way we work where work is no longer anchored to one place and time, but by outcomes,” said Jean-Guillaume Pons, vice president, Client Solutions Group, Asia Pacific, Japan and Greater China, Dell Technologies. “With remote and/or hybrid work arrangements becoming the new reality, it will be critical for employers to provide employees with the necessary technology and HR-related support. The Remote Work Readiness Index presents a platform for us to help organizations in APJ understand employees’ needs to remain engaged and productive working from anywhere in the long term.”
However, along with this readiness, respondents also expressed concerns about the adequacy of digital tools employers provide them. From the 7,000 employees surveyed, 50% feel they get enough support from their employers.
Among the challenges that the remote workforce experienced during the lockdowns are, as expected, unstable networks (primarily because they are individual or consumer accounts as compared to using an enterprise-grade network connection. Internet bandwidth constraints are among the top challenges for 31% of those surveyed.
Not all employers have the capacity to provide their workforce with the needed tools. The world was caught off-guard and only those who have future-proofed their system were able to react or pivot immediately and ensured business continuity. This resulted in 28% who had to use their own devices.
“Technology readiness, leadership, and a resilient culture are critical factors in helping teams do their best work,” said Pons. “At Dell Technologies, we understand the challenges organizations face and have been helping them realize a truly flexible, mobile, and secure work setting modeled after our Connected Workplace program. We encourage employers to reflect on the best remote work practices and proactively evolve it for the new environment.”
In terms of human resources, surveyed employees cited also among the top challenges the lack of in-person communication (41%). Other significant challenges are a lack of learning and development sessions, including training for virtual tools (39%), insufficient best practice training for remote working, and outdated policies and guidelines for remote work (38%).
To successfully manage long-term remote work, surveyed employees want learning and development sessions, including training for virtual tools (48%), best practices training for remote working (47%), and team engagement initiatives (46%).