Future of work

5 facts about the way we work

During the past year we’ve all been continuously adapting to hybrid working and have been exploring how to manage the way that we work and communicate remotely. Here at VoiceLine we’ve been doing the same. On our journey of building a new way to work, we learnt a lot about the way that we’ve been working in the past year. Along the way, we naturally also learnt about the struggles of the current workplace. There are certainly a few things that could change in 2022 to make workplaces more positive and productive!

To this end we’d like to share some of the most revealing statistics about our workplaces and work practices that we discovered this year. So before we look forward to the future of work in 2022, let’s first look back on what we learned!

1. Remote and hybrid work are here to stay

Although hybrid and remote work are relatively new in the workplace, many of us want them to stay. In fact, 97% of workers want some form of remote work and 58% of workers would go so far as to ‘absolutely’ look for a new job if they cannot continue remote work. Cleary remote work is popular. Many of us enjoy remote work because it grants flexibility in terms of our work hours, break times and who we spend our breaks with. 

As for the more recent phenomenon, hybrid working, 83% of workers want a hybrid work model in the future. Hybrid work models offer employees the benefits of both the office and working from home. If implemented properly, they can strike a good balance between independent focus time and collaborative, in-office work. This is ideal for many people as they can work independently without interruptions as well as partake in creative brainstorming with colleagues.

2. Workplace flexibility can increase employee well-being

Research shows that when workers have the option of working from home, even if it is only a few days a week, it can reduce burnout by up to 26%. Just think about it: working from home removes the daily commute, which is often a stressful endeavour in itself. Working from home also gives people more flexibility. You have more control over your working hours and can spend the commute time how you wish in other ways. This can include spending more time with family, working out or getting a better night’s sleep.

3. We are often more productive while working from home

Many of us may also have realized that we can be more productive on our days in the home office. This has been shown in various studies, such as a Stanford University study that found that employees who worked from home increased work productivity by 13%, due to a quieter work environment. When we work from home we don’t have the typical distractions of the office or interruptions from our colleagues, which can mean that we gain ‘quiet time’ that can be used for deep focus on important tasks. 

The Harvard Business Journal also suggests that working from home can increase productivity due to enhanced team trust. In research across different industries, companies reported a 70% increase in productivity among workers who worked from home during the pandemic. The Harvard Business Journal indicates that when teams trust one another to work independently, this encourages team members to be more productive in order to prove that they’re worthy of this trust.

4. We're spending too much time in video meetings

As the workplace became more distributed, video meetings have become a direct substitute for in-person meetings. Video meetings have become so widespread that we have on average 62 of them a month when we work remote or hybrid! And when the average video meeting time is now 10 minutes longer compared to 2020, having increased from 35 to 45 minutes, that’s a lot of invested time.

All these video meetings have resulted in a new phenomenon of so-called ‘Zoom fatigue’, where we become mentally drained and exhausted. A Stanford study found that Zoom fatigue is caused by being too close to our colleagues’ faces, the feeling of constantly being observed and the fact that we’re unable to properly read our coworkers’ body language. The University of the Cumberlands even points out that too many video meetings can actually cause anxiety, burnout, concentration loss as well as physical repercussions such as headaches and muscle pains.

5. Current workplace communication practices are a productivity pitfall

Our increasing reliance on workplace communication technology is chiseling away at our focus time and productivity. This is not a new fact but as the workforce becomes more distributed, our reliance on communication tech will increase and there will be an even greater urgency to address this issue.

On average, we lose 23 mins of focus time every time we are disrupted or distracted. Little wonder, when we have 45 instant messages on average in an 8 hour workday! When we’re constantly being interrupted by instant message notifications, it disrupts our workflow and state of focus. Naturally this can result in a productivity drop as we take longer to regain focus and are knocked out of our idea-generating headspaces.

It's time to make the future of work happen

This past year has been another important stepping stone for our adaptation to pandemic working. As we’ve moved from mostly remote working to hybrid working, 2021 has shown that some form of working from home continues to be popular with many people. Remote and hybrid working are the future of work due to the numerous benefits and flexibility that they provide.

But we’re not quite there yet in our implementation of these new ways of working. Things are not perfect and we have not fully maximised and adapted our tools and workplaces to remote and hybrid working. We still spend a large amount of time in video meetings and aren’t yet efficiently using our asynchronous communication tools and unlocking their full potential. 

At VoiceLine we want to make 2022 the year that we solve these challenges by giving workers more flexibility and focus time, while still making it possible to have meaningful interactions. We can’t wait to make it happen!

Are you ready to work better?

If you believe in the new way of working, join us in making it happen by signing up for the waitlist and being the first to know when you can start using VoiceLine