IT leaders working in the charity sector would prefer to persist with remote working, even once the worst of the pandemic is behind us, according to new research from Delta, Computing's award-winning market intelligence service.
Participating in the latest research from Delta, which is still open to IT workers in the charity sector, respondents were asked: 'What practices, methodologies, assumptions or ways of working should we avoid resuming once the pandemic is over?'
The overwhelming response was to do away with the presumption that workers default to the office, with 74 per cent of respondents stating that remote working is here to stay.
"[We should avoid the] slavish hanging onto face-to-face ways of working because we made the investment in buildings... [and] get used to everyone being on the call," said one respondent.
Others suggested that working hours should also be more flexible, with many referencing the classic 9-5 and suggesting that it too should be avoided, with organisations more focused on outcomes than location and time.
The theme continued when respondents were asked: 'What are the most important changes - to technology, ways of working or people - we should keep?'
Many suggested that more flexible hours and remote working should persist. One said: "Flexibility of staff - allow them to work from anywhere, at times that suit them, as long as the work is done (for those who can work in this way)."
Another added: "Flexibility in our workforce, integration between our communication tools to facilitate a streamlined communications platform between colleagues and with an external audience. Adopt more cloud-based systems to enable mobile working."
However, it's one thing to want change, it's another entirely to make it happen. Respondents were also asked: 'How can we make those changes stick?' Many referenced cultural and management strategy shifts, with some suggesting that new rules are needed to help people cope with large amounts of time spent on video calls.
"Good comms and etiquette to prevent Zoom burnout," said one participant.
Another said that the new normal is now the baseline from which it will be difficult to move. "To some degree I think we've passed a threshold which it would be difficult to revert from. People will vote with their feet if made to return to a 9-5, Mon-Fri in the office culture. Office design and real estate planning will have an impact as offices could be planned to be smaller, with increased touch-down and collaboration space and less battery-hen desk space."
The research so far has been conducted amongst members of Charity IT Leaders (CITL), a membership group. For details on how to participate in the research, and for more on the CITL, contact its CEO Tree Hall (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Delta will be using the research to recommend a list of strategic actions for charities to enable them to prepare for an uncertain future, which it will present to the CITL in a workshop later in 2020.
Delta has also recently published its latest report into Robotic Process Automation, where it independently sourced hundreds of customers of the leading tools to find out what they really think. With no vendor sponsorship or involvement, the research is free from traditional analyst bias. For more, contact Noel Anderson (email@example.com).
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