A survey of 400 IT workers in the UK and Ireland, commissioned by IT services and solutions provider CDW and conducted by research agency Opinium has found the move to hybrid working is taking a high emotional toll on IT workers.
With many companies adopting a fully remote or hybrid model, IT decision makers report feeling anxious (58 per cent) and uncertain (51 per cent) about the task of providing and maintaining the technology solutions needed to support these new ways of working.
While most respondents believed the initial transition to home working, when work-from-home mandates were announced in early 2020, was handled effectively (88 per cent); six in ten say that working remotely has made their organisation more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Many are now concerned that system performance issues (62 per cent) and a lack of knowledge or experience (59 per cent) may stand in the way of their ability to implement their organisation’s future of work strategy.
The future of hybrid working is riding on their success, with seven in ten survey respondents saying their companies plan to permanently adopt some degree of remote or hybrid approaches in their future of work strategies, with a minority expecting all employees to return to a physical workplace full-time.
IT workers expressed concern that implementing their company’s future of work strategy could be negatively impacted by employees’ attitudes and [lack of] understanding (63 per cent), a lack of resources (60 per cent) and budget (58 per cent) to meet requirements (60 per cent) and too little buy-in from senior leadership (58 per cent).
“The pandemic has forever changed where and how we work, and organisations are turning to their IT teams once again to deliver on the most important corporate initiative of the decade: hybrid working and implementing the technology to make it possible,” said Matt Roberts, Workplace Solutions Practice Lead at CDW UK. “To ensure success, IT leaders should have the support of their colleagues and senior leadership. They should have access to the services, solutions and support they need to put in place agile technologies that can adapt quickly and securely to the world in which we are working.”
The good news is that the research shows that 75 per cent of IT leaders believe that their opinions on the move to remote working and what happens next have been valued by the organisation’s senior leadership and that they have been consulted through the process. Furthermore, nearly half (46 per cent) of respondents at organisations intending to implement remote or hybrid working report feeling “very well-prepared”, while a further 37 per cent are “quite well-prepared”. On the other side, about one in six (16 per cent) think that their organisation is “not very” or “not at all well-prepared” for the transition.
From a technology perspective, 35 per cent of organisations say they plan on continuing to use all the technology invested in during the pandemic and another 35 per cent will keep most of it, showing that steps taken early in the pandemic have already resulted in a permanent change to the working world.