Executives like the idea of extending their current remote work policy to a more permanent arrangement, but admit more investment is required for the policy to be a success.
Already, Atlassian and Twitter have told their employees they can work from home forever, following the wholesale shift to remote working caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
According to the Riverbed Future of Work Global Survey 2020, more than one in five (21 per cent) Australian business leaders expect half or more of their employees to work remotely (full time or at least half time) after COVID-19.
Additionally, on average, business leaders in Australia expect 24 per cent of employees to work remote after COVID-19, a more than 80 per cent increase versus prior to the pandemic.
While 89 per cent of Australian business leaders are comfortable with employees working remotely, 77 per cent said they were not completely prepared to support extensive remote work at the start of COVID-19 outbreak.
To bridge the gap, more than half (55 per cent) of business leaders plan to make investments over the next year to enhance remote work performance.
“Now that business leaders are beginning to explore what a post-pandemic workforce could look like, it is promising to see in this study that they are now much more comfortable with their teams working remote,” John Milionis, Head of Channel for APJ, Riverbed.
“However, the study does make it clear that the potential benefits expected from remote work are contingent on having the right technology in place to ensure greater productivity for employees as they increasingly work from anywhere.”
Business leaders expect to gain long-term benefits for their employees and bottom line as a result of increasing their remote workforce, including: better work-life balance 54 per cent; savings from office space and related costs 44 per cent; better use of technology 43 per cent; and increases in productivity 41 per cent.
When asked what the biggest challenges to remote work are, business leaders identified technology to optimise or improve remote performance (36 per cent), spotty or unreliable home Wi-Fi (39 per cent) and the need for better visibility into network and application performance (31 per cent).
From poor quality video meetings to frequent disconnects from corporate networks, nearly all (95 per cent) business leaders surveyed reported some kind of technology performance issues for remote workers that have impacted their employees and the business.