Employers must assess workforce technology skills as remote working looks set to continue
The lack of technology skills is contributing to a dent in productivity as workers struggle to adapt to working from home over prolonged periods, according to a Questionmark study. So, employers need to ensure that their people have the necessary technical skills as remote working looks set to continue.
The study found that despite a greater familiarity with technology during lockdown, productivity among remote workers in the UK has declined by 20%. Other European countries have suffered an even sharper drop in productivity. These range from -55% for France and Germany to a staggering -70% for Italy.
The study attributes much of the productivity dip to technical user error. It found that technology issues are increasingly causing workers to feel less productive.
As well as barriers to productivity, the errors and vulnerabilities that accompany widespread home working are causing a rise in security and data breaches. Across the UK, the US, France and Germany, 46% of employers had experienced at least one security incident since the lockdown. More than half (51%) recorded an increase in the number of email phishing attacks.
As talk of a ‘second wave’ of Covid-19 hits the headlines, many employers are reluctant to re-open offices and workspaces. If remote working is to continue to the medium term, it is vital that employees have the skills to restore productivity.
Regular skills testing and assessment of the workforce help employers understand where workers are struggling. It can enable employers to make good decisions around training and other interventions.
Lars Pedersen, CEO of Questionmark said: “At first, it looked as if remote working might last for a matter of weeks. Employers could prioritize essential functions and turn a blind eye to occasional productivity dips. But as wide-spread home working moves into the medium term, this is clearly not sustainable. By testing skills across the workforce, employers can pinpoint where gaps in productivity lie and introduce relevant training and support.”
Employers can use assessment tools to assess the remote working skills of their staff and measure employees’ understanding of their expectations around at-home working.
For example, Questionmark has developed the cybersecurity for home-based workers assessment. The assessment enables organizations to meet their compliance requirements and avoid cyber breaches when their people are working from home.