Article:

REMOTE WORK Benchmark Research By BDO

29 December 2020

Guy Yogev, Head of BDO Costumer Management |

BDO Customer Management conducted during mid 2020 a comprehensive benchmark research about Remote Work. The main part of the report includes in-depth interviews with 20 companies in Israel, North America & West Europe.

 Executive Summary

Remote work is among the flexible work arrangements organizations consider in preparing for tomorrow’s work world. It enables both employee and organizational flexibility, and entails a transition to work performed from home and from the office, and sometimes also from locations far from the main office, based on a specific model the organization adopts.

The remote work trend has expanded in recent years in organizations in Israel and around the world. Many organizations recognize the various benefits of this measure, among them opportunities for employing new sectors, increased attractiveness for employee recruitment and retention, rent and operational cost savings, strengthening the organization’s resilience in contending with unusual events, contributing to the environment and sustainability, improved work productivity and more.

The overall experience of numerous companies that established large-scope work from home arrangements for an extended period of time during the COVID-19 crisis was successful. To the surprise of most of organizations, the transition to work from home was relatively smooth and did not impede the ongoing operation of the business, while the technological limitations were found to be solvable and worker productivity was satisfactory. The massive work from home experience shattered the paradigm and engendered a serious examination in the aim of creating a new and different work from home reality, at least partially, along with the need to find ways to reduce costs in light of the economic crisis on the one hand, and growing employee demand for greater flexibility on the other hand.

The study reviews the integrated work from home model, and its various aspects, and is divided into three main chapters:

  1. The Professional Review chapter presents information about the prevalence of work from home in the world, the advantages of remote work for organizations, employee productivity, challenges and barriers. The chapter is based on data and studies from only the most reliable sources, among them studies and surveys published by official entities (among them the US Department of Labor, international research companies, universities and select journals), professional organizations in the remote work/work from home field, articles by recognized professional entities that cover the topic, and insights of companies that examined the topic even before the corona crisis.
     
  2. The Benchmark chapter is based on a study we conducted in the course of May 2020 to examine the nature of work from home and its methods, while addressing ramifications, impact on employee outputs, challenges, solutions and additional aspects among companies from different industries that incorporated work from home in the company’s various departments. The main part of the chapter focuses on in-depth interviews with 20 companies in Israel and the world that gained remote work experience:
     
  3. The Findings and Insights chapter presents what we learned from the entire study, including the main trends, implementation methods and technologies indicated. Overall, the findings indicate the intention of organizations to incorporate remote work according to one model or another already in the near future. Compared to the existing situation up until several years ago, it appears that the challenge of work from home is not technological, but rather organizational and managerial. Furthermore, employee welfare and difficulty striking a work-life balance were found to be among the main topics organizations seek to address.