58% of remote workforce believe resilience is a key skill
According to a survey by workingmums.co.uk in partnership with The Changing Work Company, 80% of regular remote workers have not been promoted since beginning remote work with 44% having not been given access to changing.
The qualitative survey highlighted the experience of respondents who were working remotely or in a hybrid manner (half of whom did so before the pandemic) and its aim is to give those workers a voice on how to improve the new and different ways of working.
The study found that most respondents worked for smaller companies with under 250 employees with figures showing that smaller companies were more likely to offer remote working. Just less than half (41%) worked for companies with fewer than 25 employees and 20% for employers with between 26 and 250 employees.
The top reason for choosing to work remotely was better work/ balance according to 28% of respondents, with COVID-19 and carer responsibilities other reasons given. Just under a third of survey respondents (30%) said they found it difficult or very difficult (8%) to negotiate remote working.
Results also showed that employers didn’t ask advice from those who’d been working remotely pre-pandemic and could have benefited from doing so in order to do it better.
More than two thirds of respondents (68%) had not been asked about their experience of working from home to help others who switched during the pandemic.
Participants were also asked what helped them when it came to isolation at home. Keeping in touch, planning social interactions outside work and keeping to a routine were popular choices. To keep in touch one respondent had started a virtual lunch chat. Others had created Teams chats and other forums for communication.
Asked what skills respondents believe are needed to work remotely successfully:
- 85% answered that self-motivation is a vital skill
- 68% answered that independent thinking is important and
- 58% responded that resilience is a key skill.
The majority of respondents (74%) said they had honed these skills through remote working and 22% had developed them due to homeworking.
The survey asked what would improve their situation and respondents stated that better communication and appreciation of what they do would do so, while 58% felt as valued and listened to as office-based people, the rest mostly didn’t or were unsure.
Gillian Nissim, founder of WM People, the umbrella group for workingmums.co.uk, workingdads.co.uk and workingwise.co.uk, commented: “We know that employers who seek feedback from their employees through employee network groups or other forums, listen to what they are saying and take action are the most innovative and attractive and have the highest engagement scores. Too often remote workers have been left to their own devices to make the best of remote working, but this one-sided approach means neither the employee nor the employer overcomes the biggest challenges or reaps the full benefits.”
Bridget Workman of The Changing Work Company also commented: “68% of those surveyed said their employers had not asked them to share their knowledge to help colleagues suddenly switching to homeworking nor have they been consulted for their special insights on how to make the hybrid mix of office, home and remote working work. Although usually provided with equipment, the majority had to learn the hard way, through trial and error, having received no training. They know the pitfalls and have learned the necessary skills and tricks through their own resourcefulness and resilience.”