Friday, March 23, 2012

Riding the Virtual Wave

 I am always sceptical of company sponsored research, especially when the results are extremely supportive of the company's line of business. That having been said, however, sometimes we just need to suspend our scepticism for a while and just look at the results.

Wrike is a social project management platform company that in December of 2011gathered input from 1,074 respondents. They represented organizations of all sizes, and they were asked about their current and expected work practices, particularly around virtual collaboration among remote teams.

Here are some of the main findings:
  • 83 percent said they are already spending at least a few hours a week working outside their office
  • Two thirds said they expect their offices to go fully virtual withi the next few years
  • 43 percent said they now work more virtually than they did just 2 or 3 years ago
  • The higher the position in the company, the more time the person spends working outside the office (Business owners - 30 percent, Executives - 20 hours, Managers - 10 hours)
  • 89 percent rated the opportunity to work remotely as an important fringe benefit. To work remotely respondents would be willing to:
          - forgo free meals offered by employees (78 percent)
          - forgo employer-paid cellphone plans (54 percent)
          - accept a reduction in paid vacation (31 percent)
          - accept a reduction in salary (25 percent)
  • Time savings, increased productivity, and the opportunity to focus on work rather than be distracted by office politics surfaced as the top three benefits of remote collaboration
  • 37 percent said a lack of direct communication is the biggest obstacle to efficient remote collaboration
  • 21 percent said hindered data accessibility was the biggest barrier
  • 19 percent identified poor visibility into colleagues activities as the main barrier
I don't know if all the respondents were US-based. It would be interesting to compare these results with workers in Europe, Asia, and South America.

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