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Business Wire India
Dell Technologies has released a new research revealing the readiness of India employees for long-term remote work. Surveying over 7,000 working professionals[i] aged 18 years and above from the Asia Pacific & Japan[ii] (APJ) region (of which 1,027 were from India), the Remote Work Readiness (RWR) Index captured data on employees’ readiness for long-term remote work and their views on the factors important for its success. In the inaugural RWR Index, it was found that more than nine in 10 (91 per cent) employees in India (Asia Pacific & Japan (APJ): 81 per cent) feel that they are prepared for long-term remote work but face ongoing productivity challenges. However, employees shared concerns about not having access to the right technologies and the blurring of boundaries between work and personal lives in a long-term remote work arrangement.
 
The research also found that the most in-demand technology resources that employees want are productivity equipment or tools, remote access to internal company resources and cloud technology. Moreover, employees want employers to provide best practices training for remote working, and virtual learning and development sessions.
 
“The events of 2020 have led organisations to adapt to new ways of working and rethink how work can be conducted. As organisations come to terms with the new reality where a hybrid workplace will be the norm, factors conducive to productivity, in the long run, need to be considered. India as one of the countries across the APJ region, has had experience with remote work and is displaying readiness for long term remote and digital teams. For CIOs and their teams who displayed agility and speed in achieving or embarking upon digital transformation for their business earlier this year, it has become clear that the onus is on the organization to enable employees with support available at every stage. This will be essential to establishing a productive and connected digital workforce.” said Indrajit Belgundi, Senior Director & General Manager, Client Solutions Group, Dell Technologies, India.
 
India employees’ top technology challenges:
  1. Use of personal productivity equipment or tools for work (30 per cent)
  2. Stability of remote network, including Internet bandwidth as well as access to internal company resources (28 per cent)
  3. Access to virtual collaboration and communication tools (25 per cent)
 
APJ employees’ top technology challenges:
  1. Stability of remote network, including Internet bandwidth (31 per cent)
  2. Access to internal company resources (29 per cent)
  3. Use of personal productivity equipment or tools for work (28 per cent)
 
India employees’ top HR challenges:
  1. Lack of best practice training for remote working (41 per cent)
  2. Lack of learning and development sessions, including training for virtual tools, lack of in-person communication and outdated policies and guidelines for remote work (40 per cent)
  3. Lack of team engagement initiatives (39 per cent)
 
APJ employees’ top HR challenges:
  1. Lack of in-person communication (41 per cent)
  2. Lack of or insufficient learning and development sessions, including training for virtual tools (39 per cent)
  3. Lack of or insufficient best practice training for remote working, and outdated policies and guidelines for remote work (38 per cent)
 
Other key findings across age segments and organisational sizes
 
  • The study revealed that the top three countries with the highest percentage of employees having worked remotely before were India (85 per cent), Indonesia (75 per cent) and Japan (72 per cent). 32 per cent India employees are concerned about not having access to the right technology assets to be productive and 30 per cent cited the blurring boundary between work and personal lives as the top concerns should remote work arrangements continue long-term. Surveyed employees also felt that employers could provide more collaborative technologies and resources for productivity to support them. 
  • 65 per cent India employees (APJ: 46 per cent) felt that their employer has done everything they could to provide them with the necessary technology resources to work remotely. Nine in 10 employees across all organisational sizes[iii] felt that their employer has provided them with the necessary technology resources to work remotely successfully. Large organisations (>1,000 employees) scoring the highest (97 per cent) response. Additionally, more than half (57 per cent) felt that their employer has done everything they could to provide them with the HR support needed to successfully work remotely.[iv] 
  • In terms of technology resources, surveyed employees had faced the greatest challenge in accessing internal company resources once lockdown measures were implemented. They were also hindered by the instability of their remote network, including Internet bandwidth. Employees also had to contend with using personal productivity equipment or tools for work – this should be of particular concern for organisations given the IT security risks that it could pose. As a result, employees stated that they want employers to provide productivity equipment or tools (India 34 per cent; APJ: 39 per cent) and ensure that they have access to internal company resources (India 31 per cent; APJ: 36 per cent).
  • In India, the most important factor for remote working is fixed working hours & personal time (38 per cent). This factor is particularly critical to those in small organisations with less than 100 employees (43 per cent) while small to mid-sized organisations with 100 to 500 employees, rate productivity equipment/ tools (39 per cent) as the top requirement. In APJ, the most important factors are the stability of one’s remote network (38 per cent) and fixed working hours and personal time (38 per cent).
  • In India, the stability of remote network including internet bandwidth (42 per cent), productivity equipment/ tools (40 per cent) were the most important factors cited by Baby Boomers. 43 per cent also cited the lack of or insufficient learning and development sessions, which includes training for virtual tools as their top HR challenge
  • The need to use personal productivity equipment was cited as the top tech challenge faced by 30 per cent of employees while working remotely during the lockdown. More Millennials (24 - 34 years old) rated access to company-issued productivity tools (28 per cent) as the greatest challenge. 
  • More Baby Boomers had difficulties accessing virtual collaboration tools (31 per cent) compared to other age segments. 
 
According to the research, employers have an ongoing task ahead to understand the challenges employees continue to face and to provide the necessary resources for successful long-term remote work.

[i] Essential workers are excluded from the RWR index as a pre-requisite of eligible respondents is that they must be able to conduct work remotely.
[ii] A total of 7,192 employees across seven markets in Asia Pacific & Japan (APJ) – Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea participated in the research
[iii] Employees <100, 100-500, 500-1000, more than 1000
[iv] HR resources refer to but are not limited to skills development, team training, culture programs, access to employee portals for applying leave and performance review processes, HR team’s general support and policies for remote work


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