Survey reveals communication needs of remote workers

With new ways of working come new challenges, particularly for those managing a remote workforce.

Chloe Green | 28th Jul 17
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A new survey from global workspace provider Regus has identified the expectations of today’s workforce relating to flexible working and performance – something that’s of interest to charities as more introduce remote working policies.

Regus surveyed over 1500 professionals across the UK to understand attitudes towards remote working reporting and management.

Results show that regular contact is key, and the immediacy of instant messaging is a crucial tool in today’s business environment. 74% of respondents agreed that remote workers and managers should remain connected via instant messaging apps as well as telephone.

Frequent phone communication remains important, with 84% of professionals believing that managers should speak with remote workers several times a week. And over half (55%) believe video calls should be implemented at least once a week.

Another clear message to emerge is that working remotely should not eliminate face-to-face meetings. But this time together can be less frequent. 84% of respondents agreed that remote staff should attend monthly meetings with managers.

When it comes to tracking productivity, results were more mixed. The use of IT systems to track and measure levels of work activity was regarded as a necessity by only half (51%) of respondents.

Clearly, decision makers within charities must strike a balance between staying on top of remote worker productivity without seemingly monitoring every working minute. Use of technology by charities – including software and productivity tools is therefore crucial.

Richard Morris, UK CEO, Regus commented: “The flexible working phenomenon has been embraced by businesses of every size as companies look to offer working structures that appeal to the latest generation of employee talent. Now, the challenge for business leaders is to establish reporting and measurement strategies to effectively manage this dispersed workforce.

“This survey gives a clear indication of the current expectations of UK professionals. However, this is not a ‘once and done’ exercise. Regular assessment of tools and techniques is essential in order to take advantage of developing technologies and to ensure that employees continue to feel supported and engaged. Striking the right balance will deliver immediate benefits to both parties – and to business bottom-lines.”