For the first time, nearly 58 percent of the U.S. workforce began working from home in recent weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic. While discussions of this new normal becoming more possible as a permanent solution for many businesses have taken place, a survey conducted earlier this week by Waveform found mixed reviews from employees who have made the adjustment.
A majority, 60.4 percent, of respondents who are newly working from home told Waveform they have come to prefer working from home, including 48.9 percent who further wish they make the change permanent. Though favorable to many, newly remote employees also reported they were getting less done. Almost 34 percent of respondents told Waveforce they were accomplishing less while working from home, though 25 percent said they were actually getting more done.
According to Waveforce, an additional question found that 12.5 percent of Americans were also having trouble with Internet connectivity on a daily basis and 15.5 percent reported experiencing bad or very bad cell phone reception at home during this time, meaning some lessened productivity could be linked simply to less than ideal conditions as working from home means relying on at-home Internet and cell phone connectivity.
“We’ve seen a huge increase in the number of people reaching out to us asking about how to fix issues with voice calls and data rates in their homes since the shelter at home orders started. We really wanted to understand the scale of the connectivity problems, and the results are honestly staggering,” said Sina Khanifar, chief executive officer of Waveform. “These problems are causing huge productivity issues for people during an unprecedented shift toward remote work.”
Of the approximately 85 million people working from home, Waveform’s research data finds around 13.2 million are experiencing daily Internet issues daily.
For the same reason, Americans surveyed also reported they are disinfecting personal cell phones much more frequently to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Notably, Waveforce’s survey found 49.8 percent of Americans are disinfecting cell phones daily or every time they return home.
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