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Citrix survey reveals how COVID-19 will continue to change our workspaces

By Catherine Knowles
Thu 25 Mar 2021
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Citrix has launched new research revealing insights around COVID-19 and the future of work.

According to the research there are clear trends we can expect going forward. This includes the fact that hybrid and new workplace models are here to stay, that employees are struggling with the overlap of personal and professional lives, and that finding and retaining talent is a crucial consideration.

Changing workplace models

While many companies viewed remote work as a short-term solution to the pandemic, they now recognise it must be part of their permanent workforce and cost management strategies.

Citrix executive vice president of strategy Tim Minahan says, “If there’s an iota of a silver lining in this crisis we’ve all been living through, it’s that it’s caused us to fundamentally rethink work - where it gets done, how it gets done, and even who does it.

“Both companies and employees have seen the benefits more flexible work models can bring in terms of productivity, engagement and well-being. And they are not going back to working the way they did.”

The data supports this. When asked how they would prefer to work post-pandemic:

  • 52% of respondents said they want a hybrid model where they can choose to work remotely or from the office each day
  • 16% indicated they have no interest in returning to the office and would prefer a permanently remote role
  • 45% noted that if they were to change jobs, they would only accept a role which offered flexible and remote work options
  • Nearly 75% said they would likely consider relocating to a different city if they could perform their role to the same level without commuting to a place of work

Lack of boundaries

With a lack of boundaries between their work and personal lives and no commute to manage, two-thirds of employees polled say they are working the same or more hours. While they remain productive, many are struggling to do so.

According to the Citrix survey:

  • 41% of employees cited distractions in their home environment (children, pets, etc.)
  • 28% say they lack appropriate technologies and applications to get work done
  • 36% feel isolated and out of touch with colleagues

Minahan says, “The chat and collaboration tools companies have given employees to make them more effective while working remote are increasingly distracting them from their core work, causing mass fatigue and adding to their frustration as they adapt to the new world of work.

“While they may be working longer hours, they are getting less done because they’ve been given too many tools that constantly interrupt them, cause them to switch context across different apps and interfaces, and do not foster efficient ways to engage, collaborate and execute work.”

Attracting and retaining talent

To attract and retain the talent they need to emerge from the pandemic in a stronger, better position, companies must find a way to simplify work and give employees the space they need to succeed in what will be an ongoing distributed work environment, Citrix states.

Minahan says, “Businesses need to put an experience layer between people and technology that removes the noise from employees’ days and allows them to work the way they want to deliver meaningful outcomes."

Furthermore, as many companies have learned through the pandemic, digital workspaces are an efficient and effective way to do this

According to Citrix, digital workspaces can:

  • Unify work: Whether at home, on plane or in an office, employees have consistent and reliable access to all the resources they need to be productive across any work channel, device or location
  • Secure work: Contextual access and app security, ensure applications and information remain secure, no matter where work happens
  • Simplify work: Intelligence capabilities like machine learning, virtual assistants and simplified workflows personalise, guide, and automate the work experience so employees can work free from noise and perform at their best

To understand the impact the pandemic will have on the future of work, Citrix teamed with OnePoll to survey 7,250 employees in 12 countries and assess how their attitudes and expectations on work have changed since the crisis began.

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