So, what’s the deal with remote work? Does it make us more productive and more collaborative? Or are we more stressed, less engaged and more likely to quit? The pandemic has led an onslaught of remote work research and data. Teamflow pulled its own numbers to better understand how employees and companies are working — or not — remotely.
The single greatest predictor of employee work ethic is CEO work ethic
It is no secret that the best way to lead is by example. Taking people out of the office can isolate employees not just from their entire teams but also from executives and key stakeholders. Gone are the days of a quick 5-minute chat with the CEO in the elevator. Unsurprisingly, employees want to be where the CEO is, and our data shows people put in more time when they know their CEO is doing the same. For every hour that a Teamflow company CEO adds to their day, employees add 37 minutes to theirs.
Active and available executives also provide empathy for employees. It translates to executives being aware and being there, with them, online and in the trenches. The 2021 State of Workplace Empathy Study reported that while 84% of CEOs see the benefit of empathy driving better business outcomes, only 1 in 4 employees feel like their companies are sufficient in empathy. Showing up for remote work is a small step CEOs can take toward an empathetic workplace.
Europeans really do love their lunch breaks — and Americans are workaholics
Teamflow found that at the average European team, usage dropped by half or more during typical lunch hours, compared to a far smaller decline in American companies.
The difference between these two cultures is stark elsewhere too. On average, American companies work 10% more than European ones. It seems like the long-reported trend of Americans working longer hours than Europeans holds true for remote work as well.
Teams in different time zones align somehow
With remote workers in various time zones, schedules rarely align. But Teamflow companies with global workers are finding at least some time where everyone is online at the same time. Donna Flynn, a VP of Global Talent for Steelcase, wrote for Harvard Business Review that: "At Steelcase, we all understand that the rhythm of a global team is not a perfect 9-5 melody. But understanding something can be very different from living it.”
Even as workers increasingly return to physical offices (even if in a hybrid way), a significant number of employees will remain drawn to the perks of “work from anywhere,” particularly with countries, states, and cities offering relocation incentives: for example, Tulsa offers a cool $10,000 for remote workers to relocate to the city.
People are more consistent about logging on at the same time
Remote work is frankly different from working in an office, where people are typically mandated a time to arrive and also wind down at the same time. When comparing how Teamflow workers log on and log off, one thing is consistent: People are more consistent about logging on at the same time than they are about logging off. Sometimes, workers will log in within a few hours of each other, yet everyone will log off at the same time.
This is not surprising, considering the flexibility remote work provides. The pandemic forced flexibility upon workers, especially parents and caregivers. Roughly one in six American workers are caregivers, and a 2015 AARP survey of caregivers found that nearly half of caregivers with other full-time jobs had to either go in late, leave early, or take unplanned time off to manage care responsibilities.
The most important part of the standup happens after the standup
One of the most difficult parts of office culture to replicate remotely is spontaneity. Online, connecting in the hallway or when you walk by someone’s desk is impossible. On Teamflow, it is very much possible. Our data shows that standup meetings, no matter what time they take place, foster this spontaneity. People linger around after these kinds of meetings, recreating the vibe of an office.
According to research by Indeed, nearly three-quarters of workers miss socializing in person, with half of all survey respondents explicitly citing the side chats that happen in the office as something missing from virtual work.