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Coronavirus: Tech sector ‘best prepared for home working’

Updated: Apr 19, 2023

The technology sector, including information tech, Internet, and software, is one of the best prepared industries to weather a mass home working strategy, according to new research.

Coronavirus: Tech sector ‘best prepared for home working’

Of the 24,425 workers of those working in the technology space within the Leesman index, just 37% have no home working experience.

Leesman as surveyed more than 700,000 employees worldwide. Of the 24,425 of those working in information tech, Internet, and software within its index, just 37% have no home working experience. This is compared to 60% with no home working experience in the aviation, aerospace and defence industries and 52% of overall respondents globally.

As the UK government now asks even mildly sick people to stay home, leading researchers have suggested British workers who can work from home should be advised to do so, regardless of whether they are symptomatic, to reduce their risk of contracting coronavirus and fuelling the outbreak by spreading it to others. Many British businesses have released Covid-19 contingency plans including compulsory home working policies, and some have begun to close sites and ban external visitors.

Of the employees working within information tech, Internet, and software that do work from home occasionally, 75% typically do so for just one day a week or less, and 3% work from home for more than four days per week. Additionally, 41% of sporadic home workers in the industry have a dedicated room to work from.

Leesman’s data, however, suggests the technology space must brace itself for reduced productivity and innovation. The main risks with home working for those working in tech include a reduced sense of community (-27.7%), social interaction (-18.4%), knowledge transfer (-22.5%) and learning from others (-16.4%). For those working from home 4-5 days a week there was also a decline of -27.8% when it came to having an enjoyable environment to work in.

In light of the actions that businesses are having to take in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Leesman is mobilising research tools that will enable employers across the private and public sector to support the newly remote workforce.

The Leesman Index rating, which covers more than 90 indicators of the physical, virtual and social workplace infrastructures, shows how employees are supported and monitors key economic indicators like personal and collective productivity, knowledge transfer and pride.

Tim Oldman, Leesman CEO, said: “Home working will undoubtedly prove pivotal in limiting the impact of coronavirus crisis. Our advice is for organisations to quickly quantify where their main obstacles will be and seek support. We know how and why corporate offices impact employee sentiment but have significantly less understanding of even the short-term impact of dispersing teams to environments designed for living, not working. Industries must brace themselves and whilst the home-working figures are kinder to those working in tech, they must remain cautious about productivity and innovation.”


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