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Australian organisations failing to support employees in remote working

Australian organisations are failing to adequately communicate with their employees in the wake of COVID-19, according to a recent study.

New research released today by Wrike has found only 53% of Australian workers have been briefed on how their company will survive the economic toll of the coronavirus pandemic, while 47% are ‘in the dark’.

According to the study, Australian workplaces are on par with the USA, where 53% of workers have also been briefed on their organisation’s plan to weather the storm, marginally ahead of the United Kingdom (46%).

Now five months since remote working became the new normal, there are still key areas for improvement, according to Wrike.

For instance, only two in five (40%) Australian workers are not clear on what employers expect from them in terms of working hours, availability and productivity as they work from home.

In addition, only two-thirds (65%) feel their company is well set up to work remotely, 15% of workers report their employer does not have a reporting system in place making it hard to remain accountable, and 13% admitted their organisation does not offer enough support for team members.

According to Wrike, while Australian businesses have an expectation’s gap to fill as teams work from home, three in five (60%) are ahead of counterparts in the UK and USA, where a little over half of employees report clear expectations (53% and 51% respectively).

The research also looked at company culture in a remote environment. Regarding company culture, the research found that about two in five (45%) Australian employees value collaboration and teamwork within the workplace, more than their UK (39%) and US (38%) counterparts.

Furthermore, one-third (33%) of Australian workers feel their company is a supportive environment where colleagues are like an extended family. However, this camaraderie has Australian workplaces lagging behind the UK, where 42% of workplaces are dynamic and entrepreneurial, compared to a little more than one-quarter (26%) nationally.

Wrike regional manager APAC Fintan Lalor says, “Most Australian organisations were quick to adapt to the basic needs of working from home, however, the gaps employees have identified can be costly in the long run if not addressed.”

Lalor says, “Organisations need to be more transparent with staff around how they plan to survive the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus to alleviate unnecessary stresses and provide reassurance where possible.

“Companies that set their employees up for success and continue regular communications can expect the same or greater levels of productivity from remote employees as they would in an office environment.

“Remote working is here to stay into the near future and even after the virus, so now is the time for business leaders to evaluate and address how to future-proof their approach and optimise performance.”