The Great Work From Home Shift

Molly George

In the last few weeks, companies around the globe found themselves suddenly making the shift to 100% remote, thanks to the spread and growing concerns related to COVID-19. In addition to our weekly COVID Pulse Survey, where we are taking a look at how COVID is impacting Americans’ stress levels, the research team at Kickstand also wanted to understand how things are going for the employees who now find themselves working from home full-time — and what it likely means for employers. 

Off to a pretty solid start

We’re still in the early days, but so far, employees are giving their new work-from-home situation two thumbs up, with 95% saying they enjoy working remote. We’ll see how perspectives may shift in the coming weeks as the novelty wears off, but so far so good! 

And on a similarly optimistic note, respondents also noted that productivity and company culture — two traditionally big concerns for employers considering remote work options — haven’t taken a hit (at least yet), and in fact, may have even improved. 

For 86%, shifting to remote work has had no impact on productivity, or even improved it, with 37% saying they’re more productive working from home. And only 8% of Americans say their company culture has taken a negative hit from the shift to remote, with 39% saying it’s actually improved culture.  

Employee expectations already shifting

For employers, the forced short-term shift to remote work may have long-term implications regarding recruitment and retention of talent. Among the findings, 76% of Americans say they will now expect their organization to offer some kind of remote work option long-term, even after COVID-19 is behind us. What’s more, 83% say that remote work policies will now factor into their decisions regarding future employment opportunities. 

It’s clear that companies can’t be short-sighted when it comes to the COVID crisis. Many of the adjustments that have been made to weather the immediate storm could — and maybe should — stick around, including policies that allow for some level of remote work, where possible. This is a lesson that Kickstand learned early on. Influenced by direct feedback from our team, Kickstand offers employees up to 20% work from home time. It’s been a part of our culture — which focuses on both flexibility and accountability — from day one, and certainly helped make our shift to full-time remote work a seamless transition. That said – we’re all eager for the day we’re able to resume our in-person brainstorms and happy hours!

An overdue shout out to teachers and childcare workers

For working parents, the pandemic has meant a shift to not just full-time remote work, but also full-time responsibility for childcare or schooling. As they juggle to balance being employees, parents and teachers all day, every day, the survey makes it clear that the weight of that shift has not been lost on parents. In fact, 88% of parents say this experience has given them a deeper appreciation for teachers and childcare workers. If there’s a silver lining in all of this (and I say this as a Mom to two under three myself), it’s that when the doors to our schools and childcare centers open again, our too often unsung heroes will be met with excited kids and grateful parents. 

Keep an eye on the Kickstand blog over the coming weeks as we look at other topics and daily habits that have been impacted by COVID. And if you’ve got a question you’d love to see answered in an upcoming survey, send us a note at hello@meetkickstand.com

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