Splashtop Inc., a leading remote access software firm, released findings from its May 2020 online Work-From-Home Survey of 870 random respondents in various fields. Survey results indicate that although more than one-third of respondents had never worked from home prior to the COVID-19 pandemic—and another one-third had rarely worked remotely—an overwhelming 80 percent of the group reported being more or equally productive working from home.
Respondents included IT professionals, game developers, video producers, architects, TV broadcasting professionals, retailers, K-12 and college educators, and healthcare professionals. A full 75 percent of these respondents were using remote access solutions to effectively work from home. Significantly, this group encompassed employees whose work depends on employers' licensed applications requiring compute or bandwidth-intensive resources—such as high-end workstations or data center servers—that are difficult to replicate in a home-office setting.
"Before the global COVID-19 pandemic, many of these professionals were unable to work remotely because they couldn't replicate the resources at home to run their licensed software applications," said Mark Lee, CEO of Splashtop. "Additionally, it's crucial that access to remote resources be secure. Fortunately, next-generation remote access solutions are opening up new possibilities for more kinds of work to be done securely and productively from home."
Ultimately, the Splashtop Work-From-Home Survey highlights the importance of effective remote tools and sheds light into this "new normal" of working from home that the COVID-19 pandemic spurred:
Before COVID-19, 71 percent of the survey respondents had never or rarely worked from home. Only 7.8 percent described themselves as already being remote workers. These numbers depict the challenge that organizations faced when suddenly required to enable entire workforces to work from home, almost overnight.
At the time of the survey, 80 percent of respondents, now working from home, reported being more (40.5 percent) or equally (39.5 percent) productive compared to when they reported to work in an office. They cited the use of collaboration/communication tools (e.g., Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Skype, WebEx, Google Classroom) and remote access tools (Splashtop, VPN, TeamViewer, LogMeIn) as contributing to their productivity gains.
Almost 75 percent of the group expected that their companies might be more open to working from home even after the pandemic's restrictions abate, with 28 percent of participants suggesting that working from home might become the new normal for their companies.
"These findings indicate that workers and organizations pushed by COVID-19 to implement widespread work-from-home strategies are experiencing, especially with the right remote access tools in place, that they can often actually increase productivity," said Lee.
Looking Beyond the COVID-19 Era and Embracing Digital Transformation
Although the pandemic continues to have devastating impacts on the economy, many of the large tech and other companies able to implement work-from-home strategies are doing fine. "When we add in things like lower operating and travel costs and higher employee satisfaction when working from home, it's very likely that companies will see higher WFH adoption sustained over time," said Lee. Supporting this prediction are recent announcements from enterprises including Twitter, Facebook and Amazon that plan to extend their work-from-home options beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.