The workplace is constantly adapting to accommodate cultural, financial, and environmental changes. As of recently, many businesses have adopted a digital workplace allowing employees to work without being bogged down to one physical office or location. But what are some of the challenges that come with that? Has it proven to be successful and have an overall positive impact on companies?
We surveyed 3,000 managers to learn more about how the digital workplace has impacted their business, and what the future holds for the remote workforce.
Summary of Key Findings
- 78% agree that major financial resources are being allocated toward a successful digital workplace.
- 62% say managing is more difficult in a remote workplace. Just 38% believe that managing is easier with more employees working remotely.
- 81% say they are excited about digital work replacing their in-office setup.
- 80% say that they are worried about a recession negatively impacting business.
- 78% are worried about a recession making hiring challenges worse than they already are.
- 60% agree that it is likely that remote employees would be laid off first, while another 20% are on the fence on this issue. Only 20% said it’s not very likely.
- 66% say they agree that there is still a strong sense of connection in a digital working environment.
The Impact of a Digital Workplace
When it comes to managing employees, the lack of face-time can affect many different aspects of the job. From communication to project management, things can fall through the cracks if supervisors don’t put the right processes in place and ensure they’re on the same page as their employees with job expectations. In our survey of adult managers, 68% of all respondents agree that managers and employees are on the same page in terms of what they want when it comes to a digital workplace versus an in office environment.
Taking employees’ wants and needs into consideration not only improves the morale of the team, but can help with job performance and retention. Most managers will agree that the biggest reason a remote or hybrid digital workplace has been positively impactful for their business is improved employee satisfaction and culture. It’s not a surprise that 97% said their digital workplace was positively impactful for the overall business.
Of course, any change to a business— no matter how positive— is not without its challenges. As teams transition to a remote or hybrid culture, executives and managers have to figure out how to encourage participation and reduce siloed work. Those in a management role said their organization’s biggest digital workplace challenges are engagement and productivity, lack of collaboration among employees, and budget constraints.
Investment and Resources
For teams to preserve efficiencies while working remotely, it can require additional investment and resources. This might include designating more budget to technologies that improve remote workflows, like meetings or collaboration. Investing in tools, like Beautiful.ai’s presentation software, can help teams collaborate and communicate better, regardless of where they are. But for smaller businesses it might be hard to get the budget approvals necessary to support their employees at home, which could ultimately impact their teams’ overall productivity.
By now, many companies can see the benefit of a digital workplace. More than 75% of managers agree that major financial resources are being allocated toward a successful digital workplace, and 80% say they strongly agree that their company is committed to investing financial resources into technology and tools to help managers successfully lead and meet goals in a digital workplace.
Managing a Digital Workforce
Even with all of the best resources available and processes in place, jobs have undoubtedly changed to accommodate a new, hybrid workforce. This presents new challenges for managers and how they oversee their employees from afar. The majority of people said managing their employees is far more difficult than it was when they were together in an office. Just 38% believe that managing is easier with more employees working remotely, which tells us that those managers have the right resources and tools to help their team be successful. The shift has forced management to find a healthy balance between micromanaging and trusting that their employees are getting their work done.
With employees' current workflows, most of the managers said they are very satisfied with the productivity in a remote work environment. In many industries, being able to eliminate commutes and in-office distractions can improve work output while promoting a better work-life culture. In fact, 81% of managers say they are excited about digital work replacing their in-office setup.
The Recession’s Impact on the Future of Digital Work
Even with the change to a digital workplace and eliminating overhead costs like large office spaces and catered lunches, many companies have issued hiring freezes or been forced to layoff their employees as a result of the recession. Most managers are worried about a recession negatively impacting business and making hiring challenges worse than they already are.
But without those overhead costs, are remote teams recession-proof? 70% of managers agree that a successful digital workplace that limits the need for physical office space is more recession-proof than a business with all of its employees in the office.
However, 60% said it’s very likely that remote employees would be laid off first if downsizing became necessary. Employees of a hybrid-remote situation might be more at risk than those working for a fully-remote team.
Digital Workplace Engagement & Satisfaction
One of the biggest concerns of a digital workplace is whether or not employees can maintain the same level of engagement, interest, and collaborative involvement that they would in a physical office environment.
With more employees working remotely than ever before, some managers believe it has become more difficult to support meetings and collaboration in the digital workplace. Of those surveyed, more than half say they believe it will be hard to maintain the same cadence of meetings and facilitate effective collaboration while remote. A big part of that includes staying connected to colleagues, and working together on projects, when they can’t be in the same room. However, nearly 70% of managers say they agree that there is still a strong sense of connection in a digital working environment, which is a positive sign for teams making the shift.
When employees are working from home, it can be harder to separate themselves from work since they’re not actually shutting down and leaving an office. This can ultimately lead to burnout or employees feeling overworked. Most managers believe that their company does a good job in preventing overwork and burnout by ensuring remote and hybrid workers aren’t battered by the demands of digital work.
In this survey we learned that many companies have accepted the benefits of digital work and are allocating the resources they need to help their employees be successful in a remote environment. While managers have faced new challenges of ensuring productivity and encouraging collaboration among their remote employees, they feel confident that their teams are adapting to digital work and see a positive impact for their business. Giving teams the tools and technologies they need to maintain an efficient work environment has been pivotal in this new digital work era.
With tech companies navigating the recession and hiring freezes, the majority of managers agree that businesses that have made the shift to a digital workplace stand a better chance of surviving repercussions of the recession. Retention rates may also be higher as managers believe remote employees feel less burnout and more satisfied with their roles, compared to when they were required to be in an office.
Learn more about how managers can adapt to the change in the digital workplace while navigating the recession here. For more information on Beautiful.ai’s research or to request graphics or an interview about this study, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
All data found within this report is derived from a survey by Beautiful.ai conducted online via survey platform Pollfish. In total, 3,000 adult Americans in management positions were surveyed. The respondents were found via Pollfish’s organizational role and age filtering features. This survey was conducted over a five-day span, and all respondents were asked to answer all questions as truthfully as possible and to the best of their knowledge and abilities.