37% of remote workers believe employers have (some) responsibility for providing internet access

vertical pc screen and horizontal pc screen on desk in dimly lit room

Do you have the right equipment to work remotely long term?

We ran a survey last month asking people’s opinions on this as part of a wider series of remote working topics.

The first survey (find the results here) looked at how employees feel about remote working in general.

This time, we have looked at people’s feelings about the suitability of their equipment and who they think is responsible for providing it.

Here are the questions we asked.

  1. Are you currently working remotely at least some of the time?
  2. Do you expect to be working remotely longer term?
  3. Do you work for a public or private organisation?
  4. Do you use the following equipment while you are working remotely and if so, is it provided by your employer or by yourself?
  5. Who should be responsible for providing the equipment you need to work from home?
  6. Is your current equipment good enough to allow you to work remotely?
  7. What additional equipment would improve your remote working environment?

The results indicate that most organisations were able to adapt well to working from home.

Most of us already had a computer, a desk and an internet connection, so the transition was fairly straight forward.

As time progresses, naturally we stop ‘making do’ and look for a more permanent solution to all of remote work’s challenges.

It seems that workers have increased expectations for their employer to provide additional equipment now, such as larger monitors, phones and even internet access.

Here is a breakdown of the results.

Survey: Equipment suitability for remote work
Respondents: 267

Most of us had never worked remotely before March 2020, but the global pandemic changed the way we operated.

Over a year later, 93% of us are still working remotely at least some of the time.

Of the 267 respondents to our survey, 85% said that they expect to be working remotely longer term – so our future working landscape has definitely changed. Organisations may now be starting to consider whether they need as much office space and if they could save money by downsizing their building.

 It will be interesting to see how towns and cities will be shaped in the future!

It seems that all organisations – private, public or not-for-profit – are all onboard with adopting a more flexible/hybrid approach to remote working as there wasn’t a significant difference between respondents from these organisations.  

Several years ago, public bodies (such as Local Authorities) had seen the benefits of offering a more flexible approach, realising that a hybrid of “hot desking” and working from home had many benefits in terms of space and cost savings.

While most employers were able to support staff in terms of basic IT equipment, such as a PC, employees were happy and able to get themselves up and running by providing their own desks and chairs.

However, with this new hybrid working environment, employees are now looking to employers for more support longer term to provide them with a better remote set up.   

Some employees would now like to see employers providing a basic requirement to comply with DSE (Display Screen Equipment) of an appropriate desk and chair.   

The results show that employees are looking to employers to provide a higher level of support in terms of communication channels such as webcam, audio and phones. 

Communication is paramount when working remotely and 93% of respondents are saying that a webcam should be provided by their employer.  This could be deemed as a basic piece of equipment with newer PC’s having this as standard and shows that employees want this type of communication.

Although no-one saw the pandemic coming, a very high percentage of respondents (89%) said their equipment was good enough to work remotely.

Generally, respondents seemed quite happy with the equipment they had, whether it was provided by an employer or by themselves.  A high proportion would prefer larger monitors, better desks and chairs. 

One standout comment was the need for more workspace. 

There will be a lot of busy builders in the future building extensions, loft conversions or garden home offices for more privacy or we will all be moving house! 

Finally, one favourite comment to the “what additional equipment would improve your remote working environment?” question was “a proper Starbucks coffee machine and Barista”.

 I think a few of us would agree!

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