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Remote employees struggling to access critical info

Remote employees are having difficulty accessing critical info and are being left out of meetings, according to new research.

Igloo Software has released the findings of its third annual State of the Digital Workplace report, which explores how employees collaborate and communicate in the modern workplace.

The study found that just over half (51%) of employees have avoided sharing a document with a colleague because they could not find it or thought it would be too difficult to find. This was the highest percentage ever recorded since Igloo began this study three years ago. 

Additionally, 54% of remote workers have had at least one meeting interrupted due to technical issues, and 51% of employees admit to being overwhelmed by the amount of non-work related messages sent in apps like Slack and Microsoft Teams. Additionally, 57% admitted to using at least one non-company approved application to communicate or share company information.

"Now more than ever, it's crucial that employees have the tools they need in order to communicate and collaborate effectively, but also to engage with their coworkers across the organisation," says Mike Hicks, CMO of Igloo Software. 

"As working remotely has become the new reality, it has exposed the benefits of a work-from-home situation, as well as the challenges of app fatigue, poor work/life balance and a host of data security risks," he says.

"This study uncovers these top challenges and the impact on employee engagement and culture, along with insights into how leadership can best sustain the remote workforce for the long term."

In addition to exploring remote work complications, the survey takes an in-depth look into digital communication habits and mishaps. Other findings from the report include:

  • 39% have sent a message to a coworker they wish they did not including everything from a love note to sensitive company information shared with the wrong people.
  • 65% have improperly shared and stored sensitive documents and information, which can lead to risks and potential security breaches.
  • 62% of employees we surveyed still rely on email and file sharing for their communication and collaboration needs.

Jason Hahn, CEO of Igloo Software, says, "we are at a crossroads in modern workplace effectiveness with nearly $2.3 trillion forecasted to be spent on digital transformation by 2023 according to IDC, alongside increasing signs of employee frustration with the outputs and results of those initiatives.

"It's clear that we cant spend our way out of this problem. We need to rethink our approach, the tools we use, and our expectations for how employees interact with technology," he says. 

"This is the third consecutive year Igloo has conducted this report and while theres evidence some improvement has been made towards better communication and collaboration tools and practices, there are still plenty of challenges the workforce faces," says Hahn.

"Understanding these challenges, and the impacts they have on employee engagement and productivity, puts organisations in a better position to address them as part of their digital transformation initiatives."