IT decision makers were asked how many hours they expect their employees to spend in the office once restrictions are lifted. Only about a tenth of all respondents said that their company will be back in full time in-the-office mode after restrictions are lifted. Most are not thinking of sending their employees back 100% full time in the office, and none expected employees to entirely work remotely either.
Strict-but-necessary restrictions such as lockdowns, travel restrictions, and social distancing have been implemented to slow the spread of the coronavirus, but they have also disrupted business activities, and altered the modes of engagement for companies. To deal with such limitations, enterprises have had to use online tools like project management software and videoconferencing applications more frequently to work together and exchange information.
The result: Zoom usage has increased from 10 million daily meeting participants in December 2019 to 300 million in April 2020. Similarly, Microsoft Teams usage has grown from 44 million to over 75 million daily active users from mid-March 2020 to the end of April 2020. Google Meet, at one point, was growing by 3 million users each day. However, the growth in videoconferencing has been challenging for organisations and their users. According to a study by staffing firm Robert Half, about 38% of respondents who participate in video meetings said they experienced video call fatigue since the start of the pandemic.
In the current virtual business environment, employees have turned to text, audio, and/or video to interact with colleagues and clients. Each medium has its own set of pros and cons, and organisations tend to favor one over the other depending on their line of work or industry.
IT leaders on the impact of the pandemic
Given this backdrop, Logitech commissioned a survey to determine how the pandemic has disrupted business operations, and infused technology into collaboration processes within enterprises. The survey compared the circumstances and strategies used by IT leaders across Singapore and Indonesia when it comes to communicating and collaborating. It also investigated the technological aspects, as well as leadership and management processes and policies that have evolved over the past year.
The survey sought to ascertain these details by asking IT managers across various industries several key questions such as:
- What is the single greatest difficulty in fostering greater collaboration and communication within your enterprise?
- Which specific enterprise-grade videoconferencing tools do you use to communicate for work?
- By how much has your budget for online collaboration tools increased due to the pandemic?
The survey found that most IT managers grapple with security concerns when working to improve communication and collaboration within the enterprise. To foster communication, they use at least one enterprise-grade communication software, and up to three in all.
Post-pandemic, about two fifths of respondents expect employees to spend time working in the office and remotely. A minority still cling to full-time office work, but none expect employees to do 100% remote work.
When asked what form of communication they use at work, nearly half of IT leaders choose audio-visual media. In terms of choosing hardware for their video calls, over a quarter consider brand reputation as the most important factor.
Security is a top concern
Since the COVID-19 lockdowns began in 2020 and compelled nearly everyone to work remotely, organisations and IT managers have found ways to adapt via online tools like business communication platforms and project management software. While most companies have encountered issues like security concerns and poor broadband infrastructure, they have managed to stay connected. However, the disruption brought about by the pandemic has made dedicated videoconferencing hardware necessary for various IT leaders, possibly to enhance connectivity. Businesses have even allotted more resources for such peripherals. There is a saturation of videoconferencing software but significant fragmentation within the market – with some organisations using up to three different tools.
In the current business landscape, cyberattacks have become increasingly common, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. It does not matter where an organisation is located or what industry it falls under. In fact, Interpol has noted an alarming increase in the rate of cyberattacks during COVID-19, especially those targeting critical health infrastructure and governments.
This is likely why 71.83% of IT leaders view security as their foremost concern when asked what their greatest difficulty is in fostering greater collaboration and communication within their enterprise.The second highest response to this question is poor broadband infrastructure at a distant 10.80%.
Post-pandemic work predictions
The lockdowns will likely be lifted as soon as the pandemic is under control. Yet, working arrangements will not be the same. In fact, it has shifted into a combination of remote work and spending time at the office, which defines the new normal.
To get a better understanding regarding this, the IT decision-makers were asked how many hours they expect their employees to spend in the office once restrictions are lifted.
While a minority of IT leaders expect employees to return full time, the pandemic has changed workspaces in Singapore and Indonesia. Today, most are not thinking of sending their employees back 100% full time in the office, which means more remote work is here to stay.
Conducted by Jicara Media online in June 2021, the survey – titled “Collaboration and Communication within Enterprises in Singapore and Indonesia” – asked 213 management-level IT managers based in Singapore and Indonesia a series of questions about the state of videoconferencing in their respective countries. The most represented groups include Manufacturing (14.08%), Banking (9.86%), Medical & Healthcare (9.39%) and Education (8.92%).
To download the full report, please click here.