75 percent of tech workers want remote work “indefinitely”
by Paul Davenport Paul Davenport on

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The short-term future of work continues to remain foggy, as major tech companies waver on their office return plans in the face of resistance from workers and an inconsistent pandemic recovery.

Fortunately for those working in tech, a new survey from Protocol Workplace found that overall, employers and employees are aligned in their workplace attitudes and approach to navigating office schedules going forward.

According to the results, 75 percent of tech workers say it’s important for their companies to allow them to work remotely indefinitely. Whether that means full time work-from-home or a hybrid office schedule, the ability to avoid confinement to the traditional office 9-to-5 is something tech workers relish going forward.

Breaking the survey data down by demographic, however, shows there’s a growing divide in attitudes toward the office in general, regardless of how many days a week workers are expected to return going forward.

While 66 percent of tech industry workers would prefer a traditional office over a coworking space, for instance, this attitude is much stronger among men (71 percent) than women (54 percent). At the same time, those who make less than $50,000 annually, regardless of gender, are much less warm toward the old-school office hierarchy overall (56 percent in favor) than a flexible coworking arrangement.

All that said, 89 percent of tech workers actually agree that their company has figured out how to make remote and hybrid meetings work well during the pandemic, with 83 percent of those polled feeling they can “talk freely” in remote workplace chats. This aligns with similar recent data from LinkedIn, which found that Software and IT companies are among the most accommodating for remote workers, with 48 percent offering full-time remote work privileges to new hires.

There is some concern among tech workers that not returning to the office may impact their long-term trajectory, however, as 43 percent of those polled worry their boss will favor office-based employees over full-time remote workers.

When workers do return to the office, however, the perks they miss most aren’t the flashy game rooms or gym memberships (top perks for 20 percent and 15 percent of respondents, respectively), but practical perks like free food and snacks (60 percent) and drinks on tap (53 percent).

While perks and flexibility are important factors to consider as businesses navigate their return to the office, the larger (and more business-critical) consideration is making sure that wherever users are allowed to log on, they have the network infrastructure in place to support productivity.

Many companies upended their entire traditional network infrastructure in the face of the pandemic to support a remote workforce, potentially leaving some loose ends when it comes to ensuring their legacy and remote stakeholders are supported adequately going forward. While IT teams have had a year-and-a-half to establish and optimize their infrastructure for pandemic conditions, it’s high time that teams begin moving toward an architecture that can support a hybrid, work-from-anywhere business model.

For IT, this includes (among other tasks) testing office connections, dusting off and validating SLAs and taking a fresh look at their management and monitoring systems to ensure they’re sufficient for the new reality of business.

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Filed Under: Industry Insights

Tags: end user experience, network performance, network monitoring, network management, enterprise network, enterprise IT, IT jobs, tech jobs, tech workers, technology, tech, home office, hybrid office, wfh, wfa, hybrid work, work from anywhere, work from home, remote work

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