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More support needed for home workers

From the start, the coronavirus lockdown has been described as the world’s greatest experiment in home-working. So, what are some of the early results?

A survey of the working habits of 3,000 office workers by managed services provider Atlas Cloud, carried out one month into lockdown, provides some interesting insights.

This shows that most employees have adapted easily to working from home, with 79% of those doing so believing they can do so effectively.

However, it also highlights the shortcomings of existing arrangements:

*34% of home workers say their work is being hampered by the poor performance of their home internet connection;

*25% are using a personal laptop for homeworking, with more than half of those storing work files on that personal device and 7% having no password protection (16% are working on a company laptop bought since the coronavirus pandemic);

*24% complain of having to log in to too many separate software packages and apps while working from home;

*22% can’t access the computer files they need while working from home; and

*20% say the quality of the laptop, desktop or tablet they work on from home is negatively affecting their work productivity.

Given these technical, security and productivity challenges, it is not surprising that more than half of office workers (57%) believe their company should be doing more to help them work productively from home. Almost one fifth (19%) say their company needs to act urgently to enable them to work productively from home.

With the possibility that home-working will be adopted more strategically after the lockdown, it is instructive that just two in five workers believe their employer has helped them make adequate provisions to work from home long-term; 38% say their employer needs to invest in longer-term solutions if they are to work from home in the future.

Pete Watson, CEO of Atlas Cloud, said: “We anticipate that among the largest changes we’ll see to our working lives as a result of the coronavirus pandemic is a much larger proportion of Britain’s workforce working from home more often and a change in how British businesses manage their IT and handle business information.”

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