IT leaders are ‘second-guessing what workers want’: 3 tech challenges hitting remote workforce

As companies continue to build out their remote work infrastructure to keep operations afloat, some IT executives are facing challenges balancing employee well-being, according to a Sept. 30 Wall Street Journal report.

IT leaders are now addressing a new set of communication problems emerging among managers and their employees now working from home. In May, 70 percent of U.S. employees reported working partially or entirely from home, according to a survey from polling firm Gallup.

Three challenges IT leaders are facing with remote workforce:

1. From April to June, about 80 percent of employers said they were supporting the emotional and physical health of their workers, according to an IBM survey of 3,500 global corporate executives. However, in a separate survey, nearly half (48 percent) of 50,000 workers said they felt those needs were not being met, IBM told the publication.

“It’s been a case of leaders second-guessing what workers want,” said Mark Foster, a senior vice president of services at IBM.

2. Two out of three employees have reported spending too much effort to use technology provided by their employers, with the average employee spending more than five hours per week on tech issues, according to tech research firm Garter.

3. Remote workers can also feel excluded from team and office-level events, have unclear work expectations and lack visibility into workflows. These factors can all impact morale and positivity, according to Garter.

To alleviate some of these issues, employers can strengthen technology infrastructure and rollout videoconferencing tools like Zoom or Microsoft Teams to ensure employees working at home or in co-working spaces can easily communicate with their managers and each other. Mr. Foster added that chat apps and virtual hangouts are also a good alternative to help foster less formal communication.

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