Smartsheet (NYSE: SMAR), the platform for enterprise achievement, today announced new research finding that 82% of workers feel less productive at work since going remote, according to a survey of enterprise professionals conducted by 451 Research and commissioned by Smartsheet. This echoes findings that over 90% of young workers reported having difficulty working remotely in a productivity survey conducted in April.
Smartsheet and 451 Research partnered to look at the current state of employee productivity to help organizations understand the challenges that workers are facing in the new world of work. As the needs of the workforce continue to shift, accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis, the survey identifies how leaders can leverage technology to empower dynamic work by eliminating obstacles and siloes hindering productivity. Findings from the survey include:
- Key barriers to productivity: The survey revealed that 68% of workers feel distracted by too many voice, video, messaging and email conversations throughout the workday; followed by 64% who feel they don’t have the correct tools to build or adapt new business processes, workflows or project designs; 62% who are hindered by the lack of face-to-face conversations; and 46% who say they can’t find the information they need to do their job.
- Tactics to improve productivity: When asked what would strongly improve their productivity, 39% of workers say more time to focus on work and not in conversations with others. This was followed by better ways to manage time and prioritize tasks (31%) and more easily integrating data from different systems into one place (30%). Overall, 84% desire less email and messaging communication and 77% desire fewer phone conversations.
“The research exposes how the shift to remote work has placed a larger focus on messaging tools and email, even though these tools alone are not making workers more productive,” said Smartsheet CEO Mark Mader. “As companies look to plan long-term, it will be critical they empower teams by choosing flexible tools that connect collaboration and work execution in order to realize maximum gains. Communication is part of that, but communication alone is not enough.”
When looking at productivity challenges related to the current tools and technologies employees are using to get work done, 85% say not having flexible enough tools for their needs is the biggest obstacle to being more productive. This was followed by facing a steep learning curve to get value from the tool (71%) and having their work fragmented across too many niche tools (68%) were the biggest obstacles.
“When the initial shift to remote work occurred, the first big obstacle was ensuring sufficient connection to tools and apps. Now, the issue is dealing with distractions and finding focused time to work,” said Chris Marsh, a research director at 451 Research. “Giving people no-code software that allows them to create solutions that fit their personal work styles, while quickly accessing the information and updates they need, will be the key to keeping employees engaged and productive in this new environment.”
Marsh will join Mark Mader for a webinar titled “Rethinking Workforce Productivity and Collaboration in the Time of COVID-19” on Wednesday, June 24 at 10:00am PST/1:00pm EST to discuss these findings and share his insights into how organizations committed to digital transformation are empowering their workforce to handle rapid change through technology. You can register for the webinar here.
The survey was conducted by 451 Research among a sample of 800 U.S. workers at enterprise companies with 1,500+ full time employees and three or more office locations. It was live from April 16 to May 1, 2020.
Smartsheet (NYSE: SMAR) is the platform for enterprise achievement. By aligning people and technology so organizations can move faster and drive innovation, Smartsheet enables its 84,000 customers and millions of users to achieve more. Visit www.smartsheet.com to learn more.
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