The transition to remote work has accelerated in companies around the world because of COVID-19. BearingPoint employees in Switzerland not only completed the move to home offices but nearly 90 percent report that their well-being and productivity have remained unchanged or even increased because of working remotely.
Zurich, June 10, 2020 – Although the switch to remote work because of COVID-19 has hurt productivity at some companies, a recent BearingPoint survey of its employees shows a different perspective: BearingPoint employees are satisfied with the new working model and rate the impact on productivity and well-being positively.
More than half of BearingPoint employees reported that their home office productivity remained unchanged. More than one-third even noted increased productivity, mainly due to greater flexibility and fewer distractions – the working environment at home is often quieter than an open-plan office. However, it must be taken into account that, due to social restrictions, employees may be working more than average, and this is part of the higher productivity. 10 percent of BearingPoint employees reported a loss of productivity, mainly due to an unusually high number of coordination meetings and distractions at home.
The crisis hit us quite unexpectedly, and we were all more than surprised to see how smoothly the transition to remote work went. It was clear that both employees and clients were working closely together and were highly motivated to master and continue to master the major challenges.
Matthias Roeser, Head of Switzerland at BearingPoint
Team productivity at home offices has also remained constant. 87 percent of employees believe that team performance is unchanged or even better over the last few weeks. Teams with more than 10 members had more difficulties. Surveyed employees said the lack of essential, informal conversations between team members and customers was the biggest challenge.
The survey results show that BearingPoint's staff view MS teams as an effective communication and collaboration tool. Participants also supported agile project management methods, such as daily status meetings, and said it is crucial to create day structures so that fixed time slots are defined, such as "meeting-free afternoons," during which employees can work undisturbed. According to the respondents, regular physical "breakout sessions" are still necessary, despite online communication tools, to carry out complex problem-solving tasks or creative brainstorming.
Half of the employees observed an increase in personal well-being. Given the current health and economic crisis, this was a surprising result. The main reason cited is the time saved by eliminating the need to travel to work. Regular, performance-enhancing breaks such as sporting activities during distance working also have a positive effect on physical well-being and reduce stress levels. Only 10 percent of the survey participants noticed a reduced sense of well-being, primarily caused by a lack of social contacts. To ensure that colleagues do not feel alone and fall into a low level of motivation due to COVID-19 restrictions, BearingPoint has introduced virtual meetings and sports activities.
The study clearly shows that for the majority of BearingPoint employees, distance working means a better quality of life. 94 percent of employees would like to work remotely two days a week in the future.
As consultants, we rely heavily on close cooperation and interaction with our clients. This means that an extensive changeover to remote working will be difficult to implement. Nevertheless, we see areas where what we have learned will shape our future working environment. We will deliver more individualized services to our clients remotely, establish new virtual meeting and event forms, and make work even more flexible for employees. These new approaches will, above all, help address the burdens for employees in highly-agile work environments, which was a topic before the crisis.
Matthias Roeser, Head of Switzerland at BearingPoint
About the study
The data used is based on an online survey conducted by BearingPoint, in which 83 employees in Switzerland took part. The participants had an age range between 20 and 45; 35 percent were female and 65 percent male. The survey was conducted from the perspective of external BearingPoint consultants, most of whom work on-site. It is based on self-assessments during the period March 27 to April 24, 2020.
BearingPoint is an independent management and technology consultancy with European roots and a global reach. The company operates in three business units: The first unit covers the advisory business with a clear focus on five key areas to drive growth across all regions. The second unit provides IP-driven managed services beyond SaaS and offers business critical services to its clients supporting their business success. The third unit provides the software for successful digital transformation and regulatory requirements. It is also designed to explore innovative business models with clients and partners by driving the financing and development of start-ups and leveraging ecosystems.
BearingPoint's clients include many of the world's leading companies and organizations. The firm has a global consulting network with more than 10,000 people and supports clients in over 75 countries, engaging with them to achieve measurable and sustainable success.
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