COVID-19 and the Future of Work: Citrix® Shares Lessons Learned One Year In

Employees are beginning to see light at the end of the long, dark tunnel they’ve been navigating for the last year as they’ve worked largely remote. And it’s illuminating the fact that the unplanned global work from home experiment has permanently changed how and where work will get done. According to new research from Citrix Systems, Inc., hybrid work is here to stay. And in this new world of work, delivering a unified, secure, and simplified work experience will be key to success.

To understand the impact the pandemic will have on the future of work, Citrix teamed with OnePoll to survey 7,250 employees in 12 countries and assess how their attitudes and expectations on work have changed since the crisis began. And three things were abundantly clear:

There’s No Going Back

While many companies viewed remote work as a short-term solution to the pandemic, they now recognize it must be part of their permanent workforce and cost management strategies.

“If there’s an iota of a silver lining in this crisis we’ve all been living through, it’s that it’s caused us to fundamentally rethink work – where it gets done, how it gets done, and even who does it,” says Tim Minahan, Executive Vice President of Strategy, Citrix. “Both companies and employees have seen the benefits more flexible work models can bring in terms of productivity, engagement and well-being. And they are not going back to working the way they did.”

The Citrix-OnePoll data supports this. When asked how they would prefer to work post-pandemic,

  • 52 percent of respondents said they want a hybrid model where they can choose to work remotely or from the office each day
  • 16 percent indicated they have no interest in returning to the office and would prefer a permanently remote role
  • 45 percent noted that if they were to change jobs, they would only accept a role which offered flexible and remote work options
  • Nearly 75 percent said they would likely consider relocating to a different city if they could perform their role to the same level without commuting to a place of work. And in a separate Citrix-One Poll survey of 2,000 US knowledge workers, one in four employees said they have abandoned their city dwellings, or plan to do so, because they can work remote

Work is too Noisy

With a lack of boundaries between their work and personal lives and no commute to manage, two-thirds of employees polled say they are working the same or more hours. And while they remain productive, many are struggling to do so. What’s killing them? According to the Citrix-OnePoll survey:

  • 41 percent of employees cited distractions in their home environment (children, pets, etc.)
  • 28 percent say they lack appropriate technologies and applications to get work done
  • 36 percent feel isolated and out of touch with colleagues

“The chat and collaboration tools companies have given employees to make them more effective while working remote are increasingly distracting them from their core work, causing mass fatigue and adding to their frustration as they adapt to the new world of work,” Minahan says. “While they may be working longer hours, they are getting less done because they’ve been given too many tools that constantly interrupt them, cause them to switch context across different apps and interfaces, and do not foster efficient ways to engage, collaborate and execute work.”

Experience Matters

To attract and retain the talent they need to emerge from the pandemic in a stronger, better position, companies must find a way to simplify work and give employees the space they need to succeed in  what will be an ongoing distributed work environment.

“Businesses need to put an experience layer between people and technology that removes the noise from employees’ days and allows them to work the way they want to deliver meaningful outcomes,” Minahan said.

And as many companies have learned through the pandemic, digital workspaces are an efficient and effective way to do this, as they:

  • Unify work – Whether at home, on plane or in an office, employees have consistent and reliable access to all the resources they need to be productive across any work channel, device or location
  • Secure work – Contextual access and app security, ensure applications and information remain secure—no matter where work happens
  • Simplify work – Intelligence capabilities like machine learning, virtual assistants and simplified workflows personalize, guide, and automate the work experience so employees can work free from noise and perform at their best

More than 400,000 companies around the world use digital workspace solutions from Citrix to provide a secure and simplified work experience that empowers employees to be and do their best. Click here to learn more about these solutions and the value they can deliver.

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About Author

Leigh Porter's first love is to love people. Beginning her career as a neonatal RN was an obvious choice until life threw the curve ball to embark on a new IT endeavor. Pursuing this fresh career was a piece of cake with her resilient and steadfast character. Outside of the office, Leigh also diligently gives much of her time faithfully as a nationally awarded volunteer leader to a very dear to her heart organization.