As the world recently transitioned to remote work, at Asana, we have been curious about the impact on people navigating the realities of working in remote teams. In a time when clarity, empathy, and human connection are imperative, it’s important to understand how new worldwide macro trends affect people on a personal level.
To do so, we conducted a survey to evaluate the behaviors and attitudes of 5,140 full-time employees currently working remotely. Respondents were located in Australia, Germany, Japan, the U.K., and the U.S. The findings underscore how remote work has impacted employees, from the tools they use to their shifting schedules.
“The most important thing we can do right now as leaders is support our team and customers. For us at Car Next Door, this means continuing to be transparent with our team, being flexible as people’s responsibilities at home may have changed, and ensuring everyone has the tools they need to stay connected. This is where Asana’s been critical—it’s helped us stay aligned so we can make decisions quickly.”Will Davies, Founder & CEO at Car Next Door
Here are key findings from the Anatomy of Work: Remote Teams Survey. To learn more, download the full report.
- Nearly two-thirds (62%) of full-time knowledge workers have increased their use of collaboration tools since working from home.
- One in five employees (19%) are using collaboration tools for the first time since working remotely.
- 30% of employees using a work management platform feel more supported by their manager versus 17% not using a work management platform.
While some have made a smoother transition in finding new ways of connecting and collaborating, there have also been hurdles along the way. In particular, the rapid transition to working from home has been challenging for over half of the respondents (53%) who don’t have a dedicated desk, PC/laptop, or reliable internet connection at home.
Another difficulty for many people making this transition is around establishing new working hours. According to our survey data, nearly 60% of global employees are working different hours since shifting to remote work, with 53% taking more breaks throughout the day, 32% starting their working day earlier, and 28% working later in the evening.
Remote employee regional insights
Additionally, it is fascinating to look at the findings broken down by geography. It is clear that a remote employee’s experience depends on where in the world they live.
Here are a few key findings based on location:
- Aussie workers are craving connection to colleagues the most, with 80% saying they miss interacting in-person with their teammates on a daily basis.
- Despite their physical distance, over 75% reflect that their manager has been supportive in managing and communicating goals—the second highest country surveyed after the U.S.
- 65% of German workers are relying on collaboration tools more since transitioning to remote work—the highest of all countries surveyed.
- German employees have modified their schedules the most of any country, with only 29% maintaining their pre-remote working schedule. However, they’re also carving out more time during the working day to spend with their families, with 47% blocking off time for family activities.
- Japan has cut down on meetings the most across all countries surveyed, with 42% of Japanese workers noting they’re having fewer meetings, versus only 14% who are having more.
- Over half (56%) of Japanese employees are taking more breaks than before transitioning to remote work, the second highest of all countries surveyed following the U.K.
- 85% of workers in the U.K. with school-aged children are balancing childcare and full-time work—the highest of all surveyed countries.
- At the beginning of remote work, U.K. employees were the least prepared for a dedicated working set up, with over two-thirds (67%) lacking a dedicated desk, PC/laptop, or reliable internet connection.
- Almost one-quarter (24%) of U.S. employees are using collaboration tools for the first time, compared to the global average of 19%.
- Nearly 80% of U.S. workers feel their manager has been more supportive in managing and communicating work goals since transitioning to remote work—the highest of any country surveyed.
How should you interpret these results? While many people are embracing new ways of operating, companies have to continually prioritize connection and collaboration while being physically apart.
Dustin Moskovitz, CEO of Asana, put it this way:
“Organizations around the world are adapting to new ways of working together while being physically apart. Many teams are navigating the unique challenges related to the rapid move to remote work protocols, in some cases for the first time. Teams need confidence and clarity in their work, and platforms that foster collaboration are essential ways teams are staying aligned, organized and connected so they can continue working towards their most important goals. It goes without saying that this shared experience will serve as a catalyst to bring teams closer together.”
According to the Anatomy of Work: Remote Teams study, 55% of employees using a work management platform say their productivity has increased, versus 35% not using a work management platform. This demonstrates the power of these tools to help teams stay aligned and organized during a time when connection is key.
“We use Asana to manage all of our marketing and cross-functional projects. While we used Asana before everyone went remote, it has been extra helpful as we quickly pivoted focus. Company-wide marketing requests are funneled through an Asana form, which allows us to get a high-level view of the project and create individual tasks. Everyone involved in the project is able to stay up to date on all contributions, stakeholder approvals, and timelines. This process has transformed the way we work by making us more collaborative, accountable, and efficient in hitting our deadlines!”Joe LaGrutta, Manager, Senior Strategy & Operations at 15Five (Marketing Department)
More tips for remote teams
Asana can help your team connect and collaborate while working remotely. Try it for free, or visit our remote work resources page for tips, best practices, and resources to help your team work from anywhere.