The study took into consderation 5 key factors:
The knowledge workers remain more satisfied with remote work than they were with office-based work (+10.9). Because of these sentiments, the vast majority (83%) do not want to return to five days a week in a physical office.
What comes as striking is that knowledge workers productivity increased during the pandemic (from quarter 3 to 4 of 2020) despite the persistent discruptions due to the lockdown.
Compared with office-based workers, remote workers are:
- More likely to say they are satisfied with the amount of work they accomplished (61% of remote workers vs. 53% of office-based employees)
- More likely to feel their workload is manageable (62% vs. 51%)
- Less likely to say they feel burned out from work (27% vs. 33%)
Social connection and bonds between colleagues are foundational to the success of all organizations. That’s why the flip in “sense of belonging” scores from a negative (-5.0) in our Q3 report to a positive (+1.1) in the Q4 report might be the single most encouraging data point.
The data shows that many organizations are making the investments needed to build team cohesion in a remote-first world. Almost half (46%) of workers agree that their company or team “has made deliberate changes to how we collaborate since working remotely.” Workers at these companies are:
- 27% more likely to feel that remote work is better for their sense of belonging than working in the office
- Slightly more likely to agree that “I feel like I belong at my company” (58%) compared with office-based workers (55.4%)
While the index shows that employees prefer a flexible work model, the data also signals that as the pandemic stretches into its second year, knowledge workers are feeling an increased strain. Much lower scores in the categories of work-life balance (-9.2), stress and anxiety (-6.2), and satisfaction with working arrangement (-6.0) demand urgent attention from employers.
Certain employee populations have seen a significant decline, including scores for employees with kids dropping from +14.4 to +8.9. As schools across the world have re-opened and then closed, the stress of homeschooling is multiplied in a 9-to-5 work environment.
Almost half (49%) of remote workers feel that they spend too much time in unnecessary meetings, compared with only 37% of co-located employees. Remote workers are also more likely to feel that they are working more hours every day (39%) compared with office-based workers (31%).
The authors of the report conclude that from their initial take of the data, one trend is increasingly clear: Embracing flexibility is the single most important thing a company can do to give its employees a positive work experience.
The Remote Employee Experience Index is based on data from a survey of 9,032 knowledge workers who identify as “skilled office workers” in the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, Japan and Australia. It analyzes the key perceptual elements of the working experience for 3,480 of the workers surveyed who are primarily working remotely. The survey was fielded between November 25 and December 30, 2020, via GlobalWebIndex, a third-party online panel provider, and commissioned by Slack. Results were weighted based on sector and population.
To assess the impact of working remotely, each element is scored on a 5-point scale, from “much better” to “much worse” than working in the office, with the midpoint being “about the same as working in the office.” The highest possible index score of +100 would indicate that, in aggregate, all remote knowledge workers feel much better about all elements of the Index. A neutral score of 0 would indicate no net change, and a score of -100 would indicate that employees feel much worse about working from home across each element.
Based on Hybrid rules: the emerging playbook for flexible work. Future Forum releases Q4 results of Remote Employee Experience Index data by Brian Elliot published on Jan 28. 2021.
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