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Employee experience critical in remote working environments - study

By Shannon Williams, 19 Aug 2021

Remote working has had a significantly positive impact on the employee experience, a new study has found.

The third annual Global Employee Survey from Globalization Partners found two thirds (63 percent) of respondents say their companies will make remote work a permanent fixture following the global pandemic.

The 2021 Global Employee Survey which gathered input from 1,250 employees across 15 countries, revealed that remote working has had a significant positive impact on the employee experience. 83 percent of respondents said they are always (34 percent) or frequently happy (46 percent) in their role at work. 

In addition, nearly half (48 percent) of employees feel happier about work since working remotely. Exactly half of respondents said that a good work/life balance was a key factor in contributing to their employee experience, with 41 percent saying being part of a team was important.

In the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, global employees surveyed from Singapore, Australia, and Japan placed high importance in career development and progression, in addition to work/life balance and belonging to a team.  While globally career development and progression are sixth on the list, in APAC, employees ranked it second in importance, tied with being part of a team.

In addition, the way companies lead through a crisis correlates strongly with employee retention intent. Over half (56 percent) of respondents reported their perception of their company leaders stayed the same or worsened since the outset of the pandemic. However, for the 44 percent that reported an improved perception of company leaders, they also plan to stay working at their current company for more than three years.

The report also highlights that remote working doesn't necessarily mean work from anywhere, with most global employees (68 percent) staying in the same location while working for the same company during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, 22 percent of respondents have relocated locally or plan to, and 17 percent have relocated internationally or plan to. As a result, employers should prepare to support employee mobility to retain their best talent.

"The remote work trend has resulted in many positive benefits but still there are some challenges, particularly with respect to taxes which have become an area of concern for companies," says Bob Cahill, CFO, Globalization Partners.  

"While there had been somewhat of a lenient approach when employees had to work in different jurisdictions due to travel restrictions, such flexibilities are not permanent," he says.

"As companies look to navigate the emerging tax risks because of remote working, our solution provides a way to compliantly support talent no matter where they are in the world."

In APAC, the main challenges faced by global employees included managing time zones, finding good communication methods, breaking down language barriers, and enhancing and speeding up processes. 

"When managing global remote teams, nothing beats a personal touch and making authentic connections V it is more crucial than ever in todays environment," adds Charles Ferguson, general manager, Asia Pacific, Globalization Partners.

Other key findings include:

  • 10 percent of workers plan to relocate within the next 12 months to another country after the COVID-19 pandemic, but while working for the same company.
  • 58 percent believe team diversity is the top benefit of working in a global team, followed by more creativity (51 percent).
  • 34 percent said their company's support for remote work exceeded expectations, while 56 percent said it met their expectations.
  • 44 percent plan to stay more than five years at their current company.
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