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New report highlights need to assess ‘remote readiness’ among the workforce

April 15, 2020 — The world is adapting to mass homeworking.  However, a new report from Questionmark, the online assessments provider, reveals that many employees lack the skills and culture to maintain productivity remotely.

Many leaders simply don’t have the information they need about how effective their team members are to decide how to make changes for the better.

Behavioral, technical and cultural barriers are coming to light.

  • Lack of technical knowledge – use of video conferencing and collaboration technologies is soaring.[1] Workers are having to adapt without the time for training or to assimilate how video conference culture can differ. 
  • Creating a professional environment –50% of home workers have unexpectedly found a child or a pet burst onto their screen during an important video conference.[2]  This reflects the challenges in creating a work environment at home.
  • Tech-related tension – human resources leaders are worried about the emotional stress that technology is causing workers.[3]  It is too easy for arguments and fallouts to come from misunderstandings when using new methods of communication.
  • Lack of homeworking ‘soft skills’ – ‘soft skills’ such as communication, self-discipline, trustworthiness and adaptability[4] are more important to working from home than technical know-how.  These skills may not have been developed back at the office.
  • Differing expectations – ‘working from home’ means different things to different workers.  For some, it is interpreted as carrying out a normal day’s work.  To others, it means listening out for the phone whilst gardening, relaxing or home schooling.
  • Compromised security – the average data breach costs an organization $3.92m[5].  Many are caused by human error.  Working remotely for the first time increases the risks.  Some 32% of all data breaches involve phishing, and 29% stolen credentials[6]

Download and read the full report.

John Kleeman, Founder and Executive Director of Questionmark said: “a month in to mass remote working and it’s becoming clear that parts of the workforce do not have the cultural or technical skills needed for working from home.”

“By assessing the ‘remote readiness’ of staff, employers can ensure that everyone is on the same page.  Training can be targeted and clear expectations can be set”.

Organizations can use Questionmark to assess the technical remote working skills of their staff and measure employees’ understanding of their expectations around at-home working.

Questionmark has developed the cybersecurity for home-based workers assessment.  The assessment enables organizations to meet their compliance requirements and avoid cyber breaches when their people are working from home.  An organization’s first 1,000 cybersecurity assessments are offered for free in April.

[1] https://time.com/5801882/coronavirus-spatial-remote-work/

[2] https://www.prima.co.uk/leisure/celebrity/a31910535/steph-mcgovern-working-from-home-mishaps/

[3] https://www.hcamag.com/us/specialization/change-management/remote-work-are-employees-struggling-to-adapt/218455


[5] According to IT consultancy IBM: https://bit.ly/2ykEj8F

[6] According to telecoms company Verizon: https://vz.to/3dECow5