As Covid-19 spread to countries far and wide, no company was prepared for the sudden shift in remote work life. The lack of preparation made it more of a challenge for some employees to adapt to the demands of the job from home. Although the preconceived idea that remote workers are less productive has been disproved, there was a certain level of anxiety as to whether or not remote teams could perform successfully. A new study has revealed that during the phase of transition, some small enterprises faced a few telecoms-related obstacles in context to the daily running of business.
A recent survey of 1,000 workers at UK SMEs, conducted by broadband ISP Onecom (vested interest), found that 86% of SMEs had to overcome “significant telecommunications challenges” while trying to maintain relatively normal levels of business activity during COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the report, 50% of workers were faced with the challenge of facilitating group calls or finding messaging platforms that worked for their team. Meanwhile 27% found it tricky to manage employees remotely and 25% experienced domestic interruptions (dealing with responsibilities such as parental obligations, intercepting deliveries etc.,) while 22% had trouble getting to grips with the different communication platforms. The report also cited a rising occurrence of communications errors, during initial phases, which affected 31% of respondents.
Despite these telecom-related challenges, other reports have shown that most companies were in fact pleased with the overall performance levels yielded from their remote teams and even incentivized more long-term work-from-home initiatives. Telework experiments such as the one conducted by Ctrip, China’s largest travel agency with 16,000 employees, allowed their workforce to sort themselves into groups responsible for either home or office work. The study revealed that the home worker group increased their productivity by 13%. The successful outcome of the experiment encouraged the company and others to expand the work-from-home option for the entire team.