So much has changed since lockdowns happened across the world starting in March in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Companies that were long resistant to “telework” were forced to go remote overnight and managers had to learn to lead within a business community in crisis. We wondered how our candidate pool is faring and so we crafted a survey to find out.
It’s just one part of our goal to bring you ideas and resources on mastering the world of remote work.
We sent a poll to a representative sample of 5,000 candidates, and here’s what we asked:
- Is your company scheduling more meetings, fewer meetings, or about the same?
- How often would you like to communicate with your manager?
- How much do you feel in control of your daily schedule?
- What communication tools do you find the most useful?
Inside our Survey Results
Broadly we found:
- Companies that went fully remote have taken to scheduling more meetings
- Most respondents wanted a weekly checkin with their manager
- Most of our respondents felt that their companies allowed them to schedule their time in the way that served them best
- Email and phone ranked most highly in terms of communication tools
Too Many Meeting are Detrimental to Efficiency
A natural managerial reaction to being cut off physically from staff due to lock-down orders has been to schedule more meetings online, especially using platforms like Zoom, Google and Microsoft Teams. In our survey, most respondents reported having more meetings scheduled than pre-pandemic times.
The problem? So many meetings can cut into an employee’s productive time. Consider reducing the amount of meetings you schedule or shortening ones you have. This article has some tips on that.
Employees want check-ins, but only weekly
Another key data point from our survey was on frequency of meetings. While managers’ first inclination might be to schedule more check-ins with their employees during this time of social distancing, our respondents broadly preferred weekly meetings to more frequent face time with their managers.
Employees Report Feeling Autonomy
There is an increasing body of evidence that giving employees more autonomy enhances their level of happiness and job satisfaction. Luckily, our candidate survey has the majority of respondents telling us that they agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: “My company allows me to schedule my time around my needs and the times during which I do the best work.”
If you don’t currently have policies in place for allowing your employees to schedule their own time, consider implementing the following:
- “No meeting time blocks” — encourage your employees to keep certain times open for project work and concentration.
- Be cognizant of employees’ family needs.
- Consider offering more vacation and personal time.
- Check in on your employees personal development needs.
Email and Phone Still Rule
In our survey of communication tools, email and phone ranked the most highly, with most employees reporting not using Slack, often touted as a more efficient replacement for email.
One of the things we uncovered in our profile of WordPress, a company of 1,200 that has been all remote, is a focus on lessening the primacy of email as a tool to increase employee productivity.
Complete survey results: