Over 90% of Young Workers Having Difficulty Working from Home, Survey Finds
While seen as the most tech-savvy group of employees, younger generations are more likely to stick to traditional platforms to get work done
BELLEVUE, Wash., April 22, 2020 – Smartsheet (NYSE: SMAR), the platform for enterprise achievement, today announced that despite being more tech fluent, 95% of Generation Z and 93% of Millennial workers report difficulty working from home as a result of COVID-19, according to a survey of professionals conducted by ENGINE INSIGHTS and commissioned by Smartsheet.
Key findings include:
- Three-fourths of the American workforce feels less connected; young workers especially so with 82% of Generation Z and 81% of Millennials reporting this issue.
- Sixty percent of American workers feel less informed about what is going on within their company since they started working from home. Young workers feel it the most, with 74% of Generation Z and 66% of Millennials reporting this, versus 53% of Generation X and 50% of Boomers.
While communication tools have a role in connecting employees across an organization, young workers have identified video calls as an obstacle to their productivity. Sixty-one percent of Generation Z and 57% of Millennials say the amount of time spent on video calls each day is making it hard to get work done. Comparatively, 35% of Generation X and 26% of Baby Boomers say the same, illustrating a gap between the older and younger segments of the workforce.
“This research shows that the key to helping remote workers cope with the current circumstance, and thriving in the longer-term, goes far beyond simply connecting people and teams through video-based technology,” said Smartsheet CEO Mark Mader. “To be effective, people need to stay deeply connected to their work and the work of their teams. They also need context, structure, tracking, and visibility into their work. Providing those things is more important now than ever.”
The survey revealed several additional gaps in how younger and older workers approached productivity and workplace technology, including:
Generation Z and Millennials are finding it hard to communicate and gather information.
- Nearly half of Generation Z and Millennials noted that communicating with colleagues has been difficult (48% and 46% respectively, versus 35% and 36% for Generation X and Boomers, respectively).
- While half of Generation Z and Millennials (50% each) find it hard to get status updates, only 40% of Generation X and 39% of Baby Boomers say the same.
- Over 40% of Generation Z and Millennials noted that collecting the information they need has been difficult (44% and 42% respectively, versus 33% for both Generation X and Boomers).
- Additionally, more than one-third (36%) of all workers said it is harder to give status updates on projects now that they’re working remotely. Only 18% said it’s easier.
- Thirty-one percent of all workers said that understanding the status of projects they’re involved in and how they can best move them forward has been difficult since they began working from home.
While usually seen as the most tech-savvy group of employees, younger generations are sticking to traditional platforms for getting work done. This may explain some of their struggles.
- The vast majority of Generation Z (73%) and Millennials (71%) use email to track and/or measure their output, compared to 67% for Generation X and Boomers.
- Interestingly, men (21%) were far more likely to use messaging software as their most used tool to get updates on projects than women (12%). Women were most likely to use email (60% versus 49%).
- Only 19% of respondents say they use phone/video calls most often to get updates on projects.
The survey was conducted by ENGINE INSIGHTS among a sample of 1,004 U.S. adults ages 18+ who are currently employed, previously worked in an office setting but are now working from home due to COVID-19, and work for companies with 1,000+ employees. This survey was live on April 8-15, 2020.
Smartsheet (NYSE: SMAR) is the platform for enterprise achievement. By aligning people and technology so organizations can move faster and drive innovation, Smartsheet enables its 84,000 customers and millions of users to achieve more. Visit www.smartsheet.com to learn more.
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