Professionals say they are more productive working virtually

02 March 2020 2 min. read
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Most professionals (88%) say they are more productive working virtually, according to a recent survey from organizational consulting firm Korn Ferry.

The survey, which polled 753 people, revealed that most professionals (84%) think they work even more when they don’t go into the office.

Working remotely is gaining in popularity, with 38% of respondents saying they work virtually full time, and 33% saying they do so 1-2 days a week. Powerful and affordable computers, the internet, and technology-centred work have enabled a huge boost in the amount of virtual workers in the past two decades.

Eighty-two percent of virtual workers say they work from home, while only 10% say they work in a shared space or a coffee shop.

Professionals say they are more productive working virtually

Employers seem to be more open to virtual work, especially as the labor market remains tight. Eighty percent of professionals in the Korn Ferry survey say their employer has become more favorable to remote workers in the last two years. Seventy-nine percent said that working virtually doesn’t hinder their career advancement, while 78% of their office-bound colleagues didn’t resent them for working remotely.

“The virtual work phenomenon is here to stay, and it’s only going to involve more people over time,” said Jeanne MacDonald, president of global RPO solutions for Korn Ferry. “To be successful, virtual workers need to show that they can be productive anywhere, engage with their boss and teams, and enter the workplace strategically. The more they are seen, the more successful they will be when working virtually.”

The most common ways for virtual workers to connect with their boss/office was through regular check-in calls/video conferencing (53%) and emails (27%).

“With solid access to the right tools and technology, along with regular interaction with colleagues – such as video conferencing or occasional in-person meetings – remote workers can and should feel productive and part of a team,” said MacDonald.

The biggest obstacles to remote working identified by respondents were loneliness (37%), technology/connectivity issues (32%), and getting distracted (17%).

The vast majority of professionals avoided “playing hooky” when virtual working. Only 11% admitted to pretending to work virtually when they were actually “out having fun.”