Senior managers at GB companies with remote workers believe that the effect of the coronavirus pandemic has boosted employee loyalty, as 46% say employees are less likely to leave their jobs.
"While we've found that corporate decision makers are comfortable with their staff working remotely, they're also making adjustments for improving employee support and compliance to support remote working for the long haul.
Most decision makers with remote workers at their business don't think that remote working has made staff compliance any more difficult (60%) or led to costly mistakes due to miscommunication (67%). Nevertheless, significant numbers (20%) say that their firms have implemented or are planning to implement online software to monitor remotely working employees.
1. Businesses are happy with remote-working compliance
Corporate decision makers are content with remote working and are making plans to improve compliance for remote workers. Of the decision makers that report having employees working remotely.
- Remote-working compliance isn't harder
60% of decision makers don't think that remote working has made staff compliance any more difficult.
- Miscommunication isn't a problem
67% of decision makers don't think that remote working is leading to costly mistakes due to miscommunication.
- Many are now assessing health & wellbeing
46% of businesses have implemented, or plan to implement, assessments to monitor employee health and wellbeing.
- And also online compliance records
42% of businesses have implemented, or plan to implement, online registers to record conflicts of interest and regulatory breaches.
- Businesses feel employee loyalty is stronger
46% of decision makers believe that their employees have become more loyal and are less likely to leave.
- The affect on bullying & harassment is unclear
33% of decision makers think that remote working has reduced the risk of bullying and sexual harassment, although an equal number don't think that it has.
- Some are improving homeworking conditions, others plan for RTW
35% of businesses plan to focus on improving the workstations of remote working staff in 2021, which is only a fraction lower than the 38% who plan to focus on conversations with WFH staff about returning to the office (RTW).
2. The rise of remote-tracking of compliance
A small, but significant, section of corporate decision makers report that their business is implementing online software to track employees working remotely and monitor their productivity. Of the decision makers that report having employees working remotely:
- Larger firms are more likely to have introduced remote tracking
12% of all firms have already implemented such software (16% at larger firms).
- Almost 1 in 10 firms are considering remote tracking
8% of all firms have considered it and plan to implement it in the future (11% at larger firms), while 13% have considered it but don't plan to implement it.
- Nearly half of firms are yet to consider remote tracking
45% of all firms have not considered it yet.
3. Brexit won't reduce the compliance burden
We also asked our decision makers their attitude to the impending Brexit. The majority of corporate decision makers don't expect it will reduce the regulatory compliance burden.
- Brexit won't reduce the compliance burden
Overall, 56% of respondents disagreed with the statement that Brexit will reduce their business's regulatory compliance burden.This view was shared fairly equally by decision makers in all job roles at firms of all sizes.
- FS & Legal firms feel more pessimistic about post-Brexit compliance
Decision makers at financial services firms (62%) and legal firms (72%) were more sceptical than the average about Brexit reducing the regulatory burden.
- As are those in Scotland and the South of England
Decision makers at firms based in the South of England (60%) and Scotland (60%) were more sceptical than those at firms based in Wales (49%), the Midlands (50%) or London (53%).
About the YouGov fieldwork
The total sample size of this study was 2,009 corporate decision makers in Great Britain, of which 1,614 currently have employees working remotely. The fieldwork was undertaken between 27 October and 4 November 2020. The survey was conducted online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of British business sizes.
This survey was conducted using an online interview administered to members of the YouGov Plc UK panel of 800,000+ individuals who have agreed to take part in surveys. Emails are sent to panellists selected at random from the base sample. The emails invite them to take part in a survey and provide a generic survey link.
Once a panel member clicks on the link, they are sent to the survey that they are most required for, according to the sample definition and quotas (the sample definition could be "GB adult population" or a subset such as "GB adult females").
Invitations to surveys don't expire and respondents can be sent to any available survey. The responding sample is weighted to the profile of the sample definition to provide a representative reporting sample. The profile is normally derived from census data or, if not available from the census, industry-accepted data.
For full results, including breakdown by sub-groups, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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