Introducing a new study on The Remote Work Tech Effect

Australian knowledge workers give us a glimpse of the impact of technology in the workplace in 2020—and there’s no going back to the way it was before

By the team at Slack13th December 2020

As you read this, you’re probably juggling a few open tabs and multiple apps, and you’re not alone. The tech-driven remote workplace of 2020 was essential for companies around the world to keep business moving forward.

To paint a picture of its impact, we asked 1,000 Australian knowledge workers to share their thoughts in a survey conducted in October 2020. The results are in the new study, ‘The Remote Work Tech Effect.’ Overall, the acceleration of technology adoption was seen overwhelmingly as a positive, with 82% of respondents feeling empowered by the technology they’ve come to rely on.

To get through the work day, respondents turned to a growing suite of specialist cloud-based platforms, tools and apps. According to the survey:

  • 45% of respondents are using more workplace apps than they did six months ago
  • 69% are using between three to 10 apps daily
  • 17% are juggling more than 10

As these apps proliferate, silos of data, knowledge and process are formed, fragmenting where the work happens and information is kept. On average, respondents said that they spent 22 minutes per day switching between apps. That’s almost two hours a week, and 95 hours—or 12 working days—a year.

In today’s rapidly changing workplace, it’s imperative that the apps we use blend into rather than disrupt our workflows, but only one in five respondents felt their apps were sufficiently integrated. Open to a better way, 75% of workers were interested in using a single, fully-integrated platform, like Slack. This would allow them to take advantage of best-of-breed software and apps, but avoid the drain on productivity that can emerge when switching between them.

Digging a little deeper, 59% of respondents said they struggled with information and documents being stored in too many and varied places across their organization. Half felt that documents were not saved where they should be, making it hard to find important information. A significant majority (68%) of respondents said they could do their job better if they had better access to information.

In the era of email, one-to-one messages and closed threads were a good way to control information and insulate the workforce from decision-making. While email will continue to support some kinds of communication, it’s no longer the right tool for today’s modern workplace.

There has been a significant shift, accelerated by the pandemic, towards open communication and collaboration, which has resulted in more informed and engaged people, greater alignment across teams and more agile organizations.

  • 84% of respondents said technology makes it easier to communicate with both internal and external teams
  • 86% said technology makes it easier for them to communicate with colleagues working in other geographic locations
  • 83% said technology enables better collaboration

Giving people the information they need to do their jobs and creating an open workplace that promotes knowledge sharing and enables faster decision-making has been critical for organizations navigating successfully through the pandemic.

Channel-based messaging, like in Slack, is rapidly replacing email in organizations that want an open, inclusive culture. Once all communication is moved into channels, everyone knows where to go to ask their question, give their update and get caught up. The impact of this is transformative.

See for yourself and download The Remote Work Tech Effect.

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