Survey: Remote Workers Like Balance, but They and Their Bosses Need Training

Interest in remote work is growing, but the people who do it say inadequate tech tools and insufficient training are big challenges—and many employers are falling short.

The demand for remote work is growing, and a big reason for that is the opportunity for better work-life balance. But remote workers also experience pain points, particularly glitchy technology and a lack of training, according to a new study.

The videoconferencing firm Owl Labs, collaborating with Global Workplace Analytics, surveyed more than 1,200 full-time workers. They found that more remote workers are happy in their job (71 percent) than onsite workers (55 percent), and slightly more than half (51 percent) of onsite workers want remote working opportunities.

According to the report [registration], nine in 10 workers cite a better work-life balance as a key reason for choosing to work remotely, even though they often work more hours than their onsite counterparts.

“When onsite workers work longer weeks, they do so because it’s required, while more remote workers work more than 40 hours because they enjoy what they do,” Owl Labs’ Meredith Hart explained in a blog post.

Still, there are pain points. Technical issues are a worry. With videoconferencing or phone calls a fact of life for many remote workers, three in five cite technology issues during meetings as a concern. But it’s not as big a headache as being talked over, which both onsite and remote workers said is a major hassle.

But the biggest problem comes in the training department: 38 percent of remote workers and 15 percent of remote employee managers say they’ve received no training on remote work. Eight out of 10 managers are  concerned that remote employees will will be less productive, focused, and engaged and worry about whether they’re completing their work.

“To support hybrid and remote working relationships, managers need training that’s specific to remote workers,” Hart writes. “This gives them tools to evaluate performance and manage expectations when they don’t physically work with direct reports.”

(skyNext/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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