Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Working from home: The future of business is remote

Majority of remote workers are more productive and communicative

All companies, even those with no remote work culture, have had to mandate and effectively manage their employees working from home. Research shows how the workforce is experiencing the shift, and what employees need to stay productive and engaged. The future of work after the COVID-19 pandemic will not be the same.

Working from home: The future of business is remote

Most every organization has been thrust into the future of work faster than prognosticators dared imagine. What will determine failure or success in this brave new world of work?

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2020 remote work research revealed the that working from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has had only had a 1% reduction on work productivity. And more than 40% of workers would prefer to work remotely full time in the future.

See also: After the remote working rush, here comes the CIO's next challenge

Salesforce Research is surveying a global general population on a bi-weekly basis to better understand their changing experiences, expectations, and outlook as consumers and members of the workforce. The results are published on a Tableau interactive dashboard. The dashboard allows you to segment the data by country, generation, income, gender and industry. Here are some of the global aggregate key findings: 

Employee Experience 

  • 61% of the workforce is working from home, 53% of whom started doing so since the onset of COVID-19
  • 44% of remote workers are using more video conferencing 
  • 27% of remote workers have been provided with new or improved work technology since the onset of COVID-19
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Work from home activities - Salesforce Research 

  • 86% of remote workers rate their productivity as excellent or good
  • 81% of remote workers rate their communication with colleagues as excellent or good
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Productivity, communication and other aspects of remote work ratings

What do remote workers want most from their employers? Demonstrating trust in employees, earning employees trust and regular communication were the top three most important worker needs. 

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What remote workers want from their employers? 

According to the survey, the top three company offerings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic were: increased flexibility (41%), option to work remotely (39%), and more frequent communication (34%).

The top three factors regarding a return to normal work life after the pandemic abates are: workplace health and safety (51%), job security (46%), and family (44%). 

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What companies are offering to remote workers now, and concerns regarding a return to normal work life - Salesforce Research

Future of work 

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated long-lasting labor trends that have put many workers on unstable ground. Here's how employees across various sectors feel about their careers, and insights into actions in response to work place readiness. 

  • 60% of workers agree that they have the skills in demand by employers
  • 48% of workers worry about losing their job
  • 41% of workers are considering a career change
  • 69% of workers believe the pandemic will permanently change the nature of work
  • 66% of workers believe that their skills are up to date
  • 57% of workers wish they had more up-to-date skill set 
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The nature of work in the new norm and requires skill sets 

Sales, Marketing, Service, Commerce and Small Business 

Salesforce Research also captured line-of-business data for marketing, sales, customer service and small business. Here are a few highlights from the research. 

  • Marketing: 32% of consumers think business-as-usual communications are completely appropriate.
  • Commerce: 38% of consumers say they've used contact-less delivery more than usual over the past two weeks.
  • Sales: Low prices is the No.1 most important sales quality now, with empathy and product expertise rounding out the top 3.
  • Service: Consumers report emails, phone calls, and account portals as the most helpful source of information over the past two weeks
  • Small Business: 45% of consumers have noticed shifting business models from small businesses during the pandemic.

I will provider a deeper dive into the sales, marketing, customers service, commerce and small business findings in future articles. To learn more about the latest May 2020 research, visit here