Employees don’t want to go back to the office

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Three-quarters of knowledge workers say Work from Home Support (WFH) is extremely or very important when considering future employment opportunities. And while there is some desire to return to the office, most employees want to continue the WFH to some extent and expect employers to provide remote work options after the pandemic.

In fact, 46% of knowledge workers plan to work remotely more frequently even after the pandemic is over, and 71% feel extremely or very prepared to work from home in the long term.

This was revealed by Nitro, a developer of document productivity software solutions based in Melbourne, Australia, in his Productivity report 2022.

The report examines how the pandemic has transformed productivity, workflows and digital initiatives, as well as the trends and technologies that are shaping work in the future.

It also examines how work habits have changed before the pandemic over the past year and a half.

Stress? What tension?

The WFH not only offered more flexibility during the pandemic, it also reduced stress levels and improved overall employee happiness, according to the report.

In 2020, the number of workers feeling moderately stressed decreased by 12%, while job satisfaction increased by 6%.

In addition, those who reported no stress increased by 66%. And this despite the amount of work that is now done outside the traditional window from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., doubling to 20%.

Gina O’Reilly, COO of Nitro, explains that working remotely over a long period of time has given employees more control over their workdays and more flexibility over their lives in general than ever before.

With no commute to work and no need to be in the office from 9 a.m. to 5 a.m. Monday to Friday, employees can now largely dictate their own schedules, adapt to their families’ needs, take time to occupy of themselves, manage the daily to-do list, and the like, and still do their jobs, she adds.

“At Nitro, we announced last year a Flexible Forever policy which we believe offers the best of both worlds – first virtual with in-person time where and when it’s most valuable and we believe that guy approach is what employees will appreciate most in a post-pandemic world.

Additional highlights from the report include several conclusions regarding the evolution of the way we work and the importance of having access to the most appropriate tools and solutions to be as productive and efficient as possible.

First, remote work paved the way for dematerialization. At the start of 2020, global printing fell by 52% and this trend continued until 2021. Half of those polled say they have used fewer physical documents and paper processes since the start of the pandemic.

Documentary processes were still ineffective in 2021. Some 44% of respondents say they have collaborated more on documents since the onset of COVID-19. However, 83% say the way their company handled documents has not improved significantly during the pandemic.

IT budgets are on the rise, in fact eight in 10 business leaders say IT budgets have increased between 10-14% from 2020, and two in 10 say they have increased by more than 25%.

Finally, digital document workflows are more important than ever. More workers are now using an electronic signature solution than they were before the pandemic in 2019, which was only 12% then. And nearly half of workers say they would be a little or a lot more productive with an electronic signature or PDF solution.

“If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that people can do their jobs and be productive from anywhere and companies that value and value productivity and results versus hours worked will ultimately be those that will attract and retain the best talent in the world, ”says O. ‘Reilly.

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