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Nearly three quarters of UK businesses were not prepared to support extensive remote working

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/bikeriderlondon)

Despite the fact business leaders everywhere are optimistic when it comes to remote working, the pandemic still found many firms woefully unprepared for the transition, according to a new report from Riverbed.

Based on a poll of 700 business decision makers, the report states that businesses are investing heavily in technology in a bid to boost their capacity to support remote working.

When lockdown was first implemented, many companies scrambled to make arrangements to accommodate remote work and keep the lights on. Those in the healthcare industry, manufacturing, retail, professional services and financial services were found to be least prepared, according to Riverbed.

“Businesses had already been accommodating more remote workers the past several years, but Covid-19 is accelerating this, and the office of the future will clearly look very different with a more flexible and hybrid workplace,” said Rich McBee, President and CEO of Riverbed.

“This new study shows that business leaders are now much more comfortable with their teams working remote, however organizations must have the right technology in place to ensure greater productivity and a better remote experience as employees increasingly work from anywhere.”

In general, remote workers are faced with minor technical difficulties: poor quality of video meetings, frequent disconnects, slow file downloads and long app loading and response times.

All this results in increased technical disruptions, weaker employee performance and a drop in productivity. Anxiety and stress, a lack of work motivation and increased difficulty engaging with customers also factor in.

“The last several months have given organizations a better understanding of the barriers to success for creating a high-impact remote workforce,” said Subbu Iyer, CMO at Riverbed.

“It’s encouraging to see from the Future of Work survey and in conversations with our customers, that businesses and governments are planning to invest more in technology to boost remote work performance. Riverbed is fully focused on helping our customers maximize the performance and visibility of networks and applications, regardless of the physical location of where employees work.”