Is "second office syndrome" hurting your business?

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Remote working isn't as ideal as we have grown to believe, according to new findings that show it may be doing more harm than good.

A new research report from Citrix has found that remote working may actually hurt productivity and often makes employees feel disconnected, lonely, and not having access to all the right and necessary technology to get the work done on time, and in proper fashion.

Out of 1,000 workers and 500 managerial-level employees which were polled for the report, 81 per cent said their companies do have more than one location where they can work.

These locations differ in performance regarding technology, culture, resources and collaboration.

There are also differences in regions. Almost half of respondents (44 per cent) in London said their organisation actively encourages remote working, compared to 39 per cent in the North East, 36 per cent in Northern Ireland, 37 per cent in Scotland, 36 per cent in Wales, 33 per cent in the South East and 36 per cent in Yorkshire and Humber.

When it comes to age, relatively older workers (45 – 54) think remote working hurts their productivity. The company policy makes them feel disconnected and alone. A fifth of women don't enjoy remote working as they fear they will not be seen doing work.

“British businesses are falling victim to what we have called the ‘second office syndrome’, whereby those who work away from HQ are held back through sub-standard technology,” commented Michelle Senecal de Fonseca, area vice president, Northern Europe at Citrix.

“As we move away from the traditional workplace, we must finally grasp the working from anywhere culture and reposition work as something we do, not somewhere we go. To achieve this once and for all, a change in management strategy is needed to embrace the multitudes of technologies available to businesses, and pools knowledge, expertise and resources from across the organisation.” 

“Business leaders must place emphasis on how technology can support and enable everyone to perform at their best - this will be the key to improving productivity, encouraging collaboration and uniting workforces across Britain.”

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