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Voice of the Employee

Research has found that enterprises need to improve their digital workplaces in order to attract and retain talent, and knowledge workers are delaying career moves under lockdown due to concerns about employee experience in new roles.

With new COVID-19 advice announced on the 22nd September 2020, office workers have been urged to work at home where possible. This has added more uncertainty to the timetable for returning to the office. Some larger employers such as Google and Salesforce have already confirmed they were not planning on staff returning until summer 2021. Most employers have found remote working has turned out much better than expected, and employees are finding it a positive and productive experience.

The Sinequa-sponsored research found that 40 per cent of knowledge workers report being more productive when working from home – findings that are corroborated by recent academic research which suggests as many as 47% of workers want to continue to work remotely “often or all the time”.

However, there are hindrances to remote working. Top of the list is finding information – 61 per cent of workers say it’s harder to find the information they need when working remotely.

One unexpected result of remote working is that job mobility has reduced. Settling into a new job involves learning, understanding and adapting to a new digital workplace. This process is usually smoothed by leaning on our new colleagues to get to grips with the systems. However, as a majority of businesses are still working remotely, starting a new job is harder than before for employees – and as a consequence, it is keeping people in jobs, even if they feel ready to move.

The top four reported challenges for moving to a new job were:

  • Not knowing who to ask for information – 69%
  • Not knowing where to find information – 68%
  • Not being able to find the information I need in order to carry out my job and not having someone sat next to me to ask – 67%
  • Not understanding how to use the tools in a new job – 62%

These challenges are keeping people in their current jobs, with 59% of workers reporting these challenges of changing jobs while working remotely is putting them off moving.

Stéphane Kirchacker, VP Sales EMEA at Sinequa, said: “We’re in an age of information overload, and people do not have time to sift through reams of information to find what they need. This is even more challenging when remote working, with almost two-thirds of workers reporting that it’s harder to find the information when working remotely.

“Concerns about finding information is spilling into careers. 59% of workers are slowing down career moves while working remotely as they are not confident of finding the information they need in new roles. Enterprises need to implement digital workplaces that make it easy for new starters and existing employees alike to uncover the information they need to carry out their jobs.

“To attract and retain the best talent, enterprises should use their digital workplace solutions to show potential recruits that starting a new job – even remotely – is a simple and positive experience.”

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