The Human Face Of Remote Working Study

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New Global Survey of Over 25,000 Employees Discovers The Human Face of Remote Working
Remote Workers Who Rely on Technology Seek a Human Connection
SAN JOSE, CA – March 21, 2017 – Polycom, a global leader in voice, video and content collaboration solutions, and Future Workplace– an HR executive network and research firm, preparing leaders for disruptions in recruiting, development, and employee engagement, today announced the results of a new global study of 25,234 workers entitled, “The Human Face of Remote Working”. The study uncovered how collaborative technologies have made employees more empathetic and build better co-worker relationships, despite the remote working stigma of laziness and isolation.

Nearly all (98%) of employees said that collaborative technologies make it easier to get to know, or build relationships, with co-workers and nearly half said that they know colleagues more personally thanks to video conferencing. The study also revealed that an employee’s reliance on technology, especially video conferencing, actually drives them to pick up the phone more regularly. In addition, with the acceleration of corporate flexibility programs, and the desire for remote work situations, two-thirds said their favorite colleagues work in a different location.

Additional highlights from the report include:

Flexible working is on the rise. Nearly 3 out of every 4 employees say their company offers flexible working and 32% said they regularly work remotely. An entire 79% of employees said they work with at least one person who isn’t based in the same office as them. When it comes to their preferred remote work location, 40% said home office, 24% said personal office and 11% said open plan office.  The top drivers of remote work location preference are: helps them get in the right frame of mind, allows them to focus and inspires their creativity.

Technology powers the global remote workforce. 95% of those surveyed use collaboration technology to connect with co-workers and over a third use it multiple times a day. Also in the study, 90% said collaboration technologies are for improving productivity between teams in different locations.

Remote working has benefits and challenges. Employees who work remotely benefit from control over their work life balance (70%), more productivity (63%) and the ability to care for their children (38%). Most remote workers (62%) fear that other employees don’t think they are working as hard as them.  Remote workers believe that they can overcome this fear by having their company invest more in collaborative technology and have clearer policies for flexible working.


“We predicted that 2016 would be the ‘year of video’, and it’s satisfying to know that people are starting to adopt this way of working. What it also tells us is that more businesses need to be able to offer collaboration tools – to enable that human contact that people crave – or risk losing out to those businesses who are able to offer flexibility and have access to talent and retain talent as a result.”

– Mary McDowell, CEO, Polycom

“There is a stigma that remote workers are disconnected from the rest of the team, yet this study proves that they are more sociable and proactively reach out to develop strong relationships. The new technology tools that enable communication and collaboration are actually motivating workers to pick up the phone, seek face time and create lasting bonds. This is the upside of remote work we rarely talk about.”

– Jeanne Meister, Partner, Future Workplace

About Polycom

Polycom helps organizations unleash the power of human collaboration. More than 400,000 companies and institutions worldwide defy distance with secure video, voice and content solutions from Polycom to increase productivity, speed time to market, provide better customer service, expand education and save lives. Polycom and its global partner ecosystem provide flexible collaboration solutions for any environment that delivers the best user experience, the broadest multi-vendor interoperability and unmatched investment protection. Visit or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn or the Polycom blog, to learn more.

About Future Workplace

Future Workplace is an HR executive network and research firm on the future of learning and working. The firm operates the Future Workplace Network, a consortium of Fortune 1000 global member organizations who use Future Workplace research and insights to future proof their learning and talent strategies.” Visit