2021 Digital Etiquette Study Highlights the Rise of the Invisible Workforce

  • Only 10% of Australians want to be remote, full-time.
  • International study finds that Australian workers struggle daily with using digital tools, worry about virtual communication and feel invisible on digital platforms.

The 2021 Digital Etiquette Study by digital transformation experts, Adaptavist, highlights that 48% of Australian workers want to come back to the workplace/office full-time, while 42% favour a flexible/hybrid model. Only 10% of Australians want to be remote full-time. However, as hybrid work increasingly becomes the long-term future for knowledge workers, Adaptavist has found growing despair among employees with the tools and technologies they are using to navigate working remotely, with many left feeling invisible.

The Adaptavist 2021 Digital Etiquette Study includes survey responses from 600+ knowledge workers across Australia. (The study also ran in Canada, the UK and US, with a total of 4,454 respondents.)

“What this year’s Digital Etiquette Study clearly demonstrates is that while hybrid working is the way forward, there is still work to be done to maximise the opportunities that hybrid working can bring to both employees and businesses alike,” says Simon Haighton-Williams, CEO of Adaptavist.

The Rise of the Invisible Workforce
This year’s Digital Etiquette highlights that organisations need to engage more with their staff if they want satisfied employees. According to the Study, a whopping 72% of Australians say they ‘sometimes’ or ‘always’ feel invisible to their colleagues on digital platforms despite their interactions and posts. When asked what improvements they would recommend to management, employees’ top four responses were:

  • 29% say leaders need to show more empathy for employees
  • 22% want to be asked for employee feedback on the way work has changed post Covid, which tied with a request for transparency of organisational strategy from leadership.
  • 21% want to be asked for employee feedback on the tools being used.

Also, 20% of respondents say management is out of touch with the way work and productivity has changed and when asked what they need, employees were clear. The top answer for Australians was more training and learning opportunities (38%). The second most identified need was better tools, software and hardware to do the job (35%). Thirdly, employees want their managers to be more realistic (34%).

When asked about the things they missed most about the pre-Covid work environment, respondents answered the following:

  • 35% of employees miss working side-by-side with their team
  • 24% miss chance meetings with colleagues they don’t work with directly for social reasons
  • 24% miss the ability to celebrate success / special events and give and receive recognition.

Adds Haighton-Wiliams: “A key learning from the Study is that companies need to communicate and engage more with employees, to better understand how work has changed and what employees need to be more effective and ultimately happier in their work. The last 18 months has driven many organisations and teams apart and distrust has grown, with 37% actively pursuing finding a new job outside of their current organisation. Of those respondents, 66% are looking for another job directly related to how the company responded to Covid-19.”

Driving Digital Discontent
The widespread adoption of additional tools to accommodate new work requirements due to the pandemic (57%), has led to new challenges in the workplace including the following key findings:

  • 56% report spending half an hour or more each day looking for information they need to do their job, such as searching emails or chat conversations
  • 48% stated that their organisation has too many tools/software requirements
  • 47% said their organisation has too many tools that perform the same function
  • 48% claimed they spend too much time navigating between tools to do their job efficiently
  • 54% are familiar with the term ‘task switching’ and of those, 60% say they feel they lose time during the day due to switching tasks across digital tools
  • 34% are familiar with the term ‘tool fatigue’ and of those, 63% say they lose time during their workday due to tool fatigue.

For further insights visit: Adaptavist 2021 Digital Etiquette Study. https://bit.ly/3H6qY2y

About the Adaptavist Digital Etiquette Study
4,454 workers that operate in office-based industries and departments from the US (c. 1,600), UK (c. 1,600) Canada (c. 600) and Australia (c. 600) were surveyed for Adaptavist’s 2021 Digital Etiquette study. The survey audience spans part-time employees to c-suite level executives and owners across industries. The research included a breakdown of the various ages of workers: 41% of respondents were 23-38 years old; 39% 39-54; 19% between 55-74; and 1% were 75 years or older.

About Adaptavist
Adaptavist is a global technology and innovative solutions provider, enabling organisations to boost agility and overcome the challenges of transformational change. Founded in 2005, its team spans over 500 employees globally, with a 13,000+ customer base representing more than half of the Fortune 500.

Adaptavist is a Platinum Atlassian Solutions Partner in EMEA and North America, a Platinum Marketplace Partner, and a trusted Slack partner. It offers expert consultancy including SPC-certified SAFe(R) implementation, enterprise apps, training, managed services, and licensing solutions. Adaptavist has also been the recipient of the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50, and The Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 for 2020.

Contact information:
Richelle Gillett
Giant Squid Inc for T/F/D
+61 418 781 610

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