businesses believe employees more productive working from home; set to continue into 2021.

October 20, 2020

Talent Trends COVID-19 Surveillance Report reveals nearly half of global workforce will continue working remotely through the end of the year

ATLANTA, Oct. 20, 2020 — As COVID-19 continues to prevent many businesses from safely reopening their offices, companies in the U.S. and Canada say they expect 49 percent of their workforce to continue to work from home through the end of the year, up from just 20 percent at the beginning of 2020. This outlook is buoyed by sentiment that 50 percent of employers in North America believe their employees are more productive working from home, according to the Talent Trends COVID-19 Surveillance Report released today by global talent solutions firm, Randstad Sourceright.

An addendum to Randstad Sourceright's annual Talent Trends research, the COVID-19 Surveillance Report surveyed C-suite and human capital leaders across the Americas, EMEA and APAC, between July 30 and September 1, 2020 about their response to the pandemic. The survey found that 78 percent of companies globally believe that remote working is more effective than they thought it would be. Among all respondents, human capital leaders in the U.S. and Canada were the most positive, with 76 percent reporting that their company handled the pandemic well and 79 percent responding that they were optimistic about their business outlook, compared to just 60 percent of leaders in Europe.

"Despite being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is encouraging to see that employers in the Americas feel positive about the future of their businesses," said Rebecca Henderson, CEO of Randstad global businesses and executive board member. "It will be imperative that organizations continue to implement technologies that can help them spot inefficiencies in their business and expand their talent search capabilities. Technology can foster improved remote collaboration and allow companies to reskill their employees to meet evolving talent demands while adapting to a post-pandemic business model."

Although the business outlook is positive in North America, 43 percent of leaders in the region said that they were not confident that they have the talent and other resources to accelerate digitalization in the 12 months ahead.

With remote working set to continue into the foreseeable future, businesses will continue to rely on a digitally enabled workforce and are making investments in technologies that bolster employee engagement, better leverage social media for talent acquisition, and improve internal communications and collaboration.

Overall, 55 percent of companies globally said they have adopted or scaled new technologies to keep pace with digitalization, and 64 percent say they have accelerated digital transformation since the pandemic began. Among the most commonly adopted technologies amid the pandemic are video interviewing, workforce collaboration tools, and training and development platforms.

A summary of findings from the Talent Trends COVID-19 Surveillance Report is below:

Talent Trends COVID-19 Surveillance Report: Key Findings

  • Rapid Adoption of Technology: Over half (55%) of businesses surveyed said they adopted or scaled new technologies in a matter of weeks or months as a result of the pandemic. Sixty-four percent (64%) of businesses have accelerated digital transformation since the pandemic began.
  • Remote Working Going Strong: Nearly half (49%) of workforces in the U.S. and Canada are expected to continue to work from home through the end of the year, up from just 20 percent prior to the pandemic. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of companies globally reported that remote working was more effective than they anticipated.
  • Optimism is High: Seventy-six percent (76%) of U.S. and Canadian businesses believe their company handled the pandemic well. Seventy-nine percent (79%) said they were optimistic about their business outlook.
  • Employee Engagement is Critical: Over half (58%) of businesses reported that they were struggling to recreate impromptu "coffee" moments that naturally occur in the office from home, and 83% said that their organizations have invested in technology to improve employee engagement.

To learn more about employers' global response to COVID-19, read Randstad Sourceright's Talent Trends COVID-19 Surveillance Report.

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