The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the remote work environment, throwing corporate teams and leaders into a new workforce model. One year on, the “world’s largest work-from-home experiment" looks here to stay — but how will this impact the meetings industry?
According to a new 2021 Global Employee Survey of 1,250 employees across 15 international countries, two thirds (63%) of respondents say their companies will make remote work a permanent fixture following the global pandemic.
This may be due to the positive impact on employee experience — 83% said they are always (34%) or frequently happy (46%) in their role at work. Nearly half (48%) of respondents said they feel happier about work since working remotely.
However, they are missing the human touch as many feel less connected to their colleagues than before.
About 41% said that being part of a team is important; and this is across a survey set of respondents who work in companies of more than 250 people, and in teams that have offices in multiple countries.
In APAC this sentiment holds especially true, where belonging to a team is tied with career development and overall job satisfaction for employees in Singapore, Australia, and Japan.
While globally career development and progression are sixth on the list, in APAC, employees ranked it second in importance, alongside being part of a team.
For some, communicating with international or remote team members is a necessity. Ten per cent of respondents work directly with a team member in another country at least once every five working days, while 30% do so on a daily basis.
However, challenges remain for global employees, such as managing time zones, finding good communication methods, breaking down language barriers, and enhancing and speeding up processes.
Planners could turn this trend to their advantage, investing and exploring hybrid meeting methods as well as digital team-building tools — many vendors now offer gamification and other technologies to enhance engagement.
“When managing global remote teams, nothing beats a personal touch and making authentic connections — it is more crucial than ever in today’s environment,” said Charles Ferguson, general manager Asia Pacific of Globalization Partners, who released the survey.
And because remote working doesn't always mean working from anywhere, with most global employees (68%) staying in the same location, virtual and hybrid meeting models could become a permanent way for teams to stay connected in between face-to-face events.
Interestingly, 34% said their company's support for remote work exceeded expectations, while 56% said it met their expectations.
This is the third edition of Globalization Partners' annual Global Employee Survey.