24 June 2020 - Washington, DC
New Remote Work Study Reveals 72% of Senior Leaders Believe Unpreparedness to Work Remotely Affects Team Productivity
Comprehensive report published by Workplaceless demonstrates the impact of remote-specific training on professional preparedness and business outcomes
Today, leading remote work training provider Workplaceless published the Remote Work Training Report, the first deep-dive study into learning and development on remote teams. Through a combination of survey data and interviews, the study reveals that remote-specific training has implications that are felt across the organization. Seventy-two percent of senior leaders believe unpreparedness to work remotely negatively affects business outcomes, and 67% believe it adversely affects company profit.
Managers or team leaders who received a higher degree of training to work in a virtual environment reported a higher sense of remote work preparedness within their own roles, specifically reporting a 40 point increase between those having “No” training versus “A lot” of training. Additionally, this level of management training also affected overall company performance. Companies who specifically supported their remote leaders with more training also saw elevated scores in “Communicating,” “Collaborating,” “Managing performance,” and “Maintaining productivity.”
“The fact that management training has a ripple effect throughout an organization was particularly exciting to see reflected by the data, as it reinforced what I was hearing anecdotally from remote L&D leaders,” states Tammy Bjelland, CEO and Founder of Workplaceless. “We see this information having a real impact on how teams begin to roll out programs to support transitions to more sustainable distributed operating models.”
The report also highlights that the state of remote work has yet to settle into a “new normal” and learning and development (L&D) teams are fluctuating their resources to accommodate shifts in policies and performance expectations. “I think it would be a huge miss if you didn’t overemphasize the fact that what we’re dealing with now is very different,” said Jason Weeman, Head of Corporate Learning and Development at Upwork. “And so using that as the primary example and driver for the conversation is incredibly important for our teams. We need to build the muscle around the things that are challenging and help them navigate the change.”
Remote professionals surveyed from 35 different countries shared their most common challenges were “Distractions” at 55% and “Overworking” at 50%. This is likely a reflection of the current stresses due to COVID-19. However, in contrast to the L&D leaders interviewed, only 17% identified that overworking or setting boundaries were challenges within their organizations. Further conversations revealed the interdependence between each challenge versus the assumption that remote workers should solve these challenges independently.
Overall, 95% of survey respondents believe additional support would better prepare them to work well in a distributed environment. Support type preferences varied from “Self-paced skills courses” at 43% and “More effective tools” also at 43%. The positive news is that 97% of interviewed L&D decision-makers plan to act on these results and make additional remote-specific training and resources available.
Workplaceless conducted the survey of 764 professionals with remote work experience across 35 countries. To add greater depth to the results, Workplaceless interviewed 30 L&D, People Operations, and Human Resources leaders from companies representing a wide-range of sizes and industries. This combined methodology was used to answer questions about the new remote work landscape, how L&D teams are adapting programs to support these new shifts, and what role remote-specific training plays into remote business performance and profitability. The company intends for this report to be the first in a series of studies related to remote team success supported by learning and development.
Founded in 2017, Workplaceless introduced the first Remote Work Certification program. Since its founding the Workplaceless vision remains bold in seeking to positively affect both the supply and demand of remote work opportunities. With comprehensive expertise at the crossroads of remote work and learning and development, Workplaceless facilitates access to sustainable remote employment for individuals and teams through certifications, onboarding programs, leadership training, remote policy development, networking events, needs-based distributed workshops, and consulting services.
Jacqueline Zeller, Marketing, Workplaceless