What Your Colleagues are Saying... (about Working from  Home)

5 min read
May 13, 2021 4:49:31 PM

When the world collectively experienced a sudden change in March, 2020, especially in terms of how we work, our immediate focus was to get everyone to safety. Quickly. The rush to give employees access to all the tools they would need was pretty sudden for many employers. In the uncertainty of it all, many managers were guessing that within a few months things might just go back to ‘normal.’ Little did we know, that ‘normal’ would take us on such a circuitous route.

As we round the corner and see restrictions lifting, we still grapple with uncertainty and an ever-changing landscape. Whether it is tracking your projects, planning your time, or how to best communicate with colleagues, the realities of managing a remote team — or simply being part of one — present a host of challenges. Staying organized and prepared is crucial in order to accomplish what used to be pretty matter-of-fact. And achieving your team goals and individual objectives - well, those became difficult to focus on as we struggled to transform our hallway closet into a home office area.

So we wondered, as IT engineers, managers and directors, how did you - excuse the pun - pivit? What were — and still remain — some of your biggest challenges? How have we helped, and how could we be more helpful?

Learn About PivIT Services
One question we asked IT engineers was: "What was your biggest challenge in your recent IT project?" 58% of you said "sticking to my budget." Staying within your budget in 2020 had many project managers struggling due to factors such as looming uncertainty and remote team realignment.

What PivIT field services did you find you needed most in 2020?

For IT managers and directors, when asked what challenges you encountered as you built your IT remote team, most of you (74%) answered that you're concerned that your employees feel as if they're working in siloes with less collaboration as a team. Next month, we’ll talk more about this concern and offer some ideas to get you on track.

Thanks to the rise of technology communication tools, (instant messaging, video conferencing, etc.) when asked how easy or difficult it is to reach your teammates and team leaders, 62% of engineers said that most of the time their teammates and managers were easily accessible. 

But Are Your Teams More Productive? Survey Says YES!
A lot has been speculated about how productive at-home workers are. Is this working arrangement a productive one? According to our survey, 64% of managers and directors say that their team is equally as productive working from home compared to working in the office, and 38% of you said your teams have been more productive working from home.

This statistic is being proven all over the country. Researchers polled 1,004 full-time employees throughout the U.S. about their productivity, their commutes and other facets of their lives. Among that group were 505 people who worked remotely. The study found that working from home not only benefits employees by eliminating their daily commutes, it also increases productivity. It's a win-win situation that workers relish for its flexibility – but often at the cost of their work-life balance.

67% of IT engineers say their biggest challenge in building a remote IT team has been having too few people on the ground.

It's a common thread many employees and employers experience: finding a suitable, practical balance between home life and work life. We asked both IT engineers and managers/directors what is the most challenging aspect of the work-at-home environment? 68% of engineers reported that finding a healthy work-life balance is a challenge, and 62% of managers responded similarly, saying that their most challenging aspect in managing their teams is helping their employees find that healthy work-life balance. So we did a little digging... 

Here are a few steps you could take toward developing a less blurred work/life balance:

  • Set aside a physical space for working, separate from the rest of your home. For many, that means a home office. Many home stores and furniture retailers feature ideas and products that help those who have limited space.
  • Maintain boundaries with family members. If you have an extra room you can set up for your office space, be sure to shut the door and set out a sign that indicates you're not to be interrupted.
  • Invest in a pair of noise-canceling headphones, which block out family and outside noises and keeps you focused on your work.
  • Set your workdays and hours and do your best to stick to them. Maintain regular business hours or base your work hours on the schedule maintained by your family.

74% of IT managers say their biggest challenge in building a remote IT team is employees feeling that they're working in silos; less collaboration.

As engineers and managers segued to remote IT teams and managed off-site challenges, we wondered about your budgets (and we imagine you did as well…) Did your IT spend increase or decrease in 2020? Not surprisingly, 42% responded that their IT spend increased, (mostly due to project planning changes and security upgrades) while 25% said they spent less in 2020. But for a fair amount of you, IT spending stayed about the same (33%).

Our Relationship: What You're Asking, How We Can Help Serve You Better
For engineers, managers and directors alike, we wondered how could we have responded better to your needs?  While most of you commented with how satisfied you have been with our quality of service and timely deliveries, a common thread mentioned our website: you aren’t sure where to find the information you need, and sometimes navigating around to find it becomes a struggle. Some of you mentioned that you would have benefited from a little more clarity through each step of the buying process and that you preferred more consistent communication from your sales rep.

Browse Our FAQs to Find Answers

We hear you and we’re working on some sweet upgrades to our website, making the Knowledge Base more user-friendly and further streamlining our OneCall service processes. Our door is always open for suggestions on how we can provide a better level of service to you. We’re making your needs our priority, and appreciate knowing how we can improve.

To serve you better, let us help simplify things a bit. We’re here to help you with:

  • Pricing Requests
  • Scheduling a Free Hardware Consultation
  • Customer Service/Support
  • Issues with My Account or Login
  • ...and more...

Take advantage of our global SmartHands service offerings that allow your personnel to remotely manage equipment across multiple locations, wherever they may be. Whether you’re looking into asset management, network design, troubleshooting, or configuration, our team of engineers will work with you.

Questions? How can we help? Contact us at PivIT!

As always, thank you for participating in the Work From Home Survey. You gave us great information and insights! Next month we'll talk about the ways you have overcome challenges, tips to help you manage your remote teams and guidelines to keep your projects on track.

No Comments Yet

Let us know what you think