In a blog post earlier this month, we shared the results of two surveys that identified potential causes for concern for those tasked with maintaining the productivity and security of remote workers. Specifically, the surveys – conducted with IT professionals and remote workers – concluded that IT remains blind to millions of workers, while at least 25% of remote employees would rather suffer in silence than engage IT teams. It also found that two thirds of workers (66%) admit to using rogue applications, also known as shadow IT, while remote.
Today, in conjunction with announcing updates to our digital experience monitoring solution, we’re sharing additional survey results that further dig into the remote work experience.
As a reminder, we surveyed 500 IT professionals and 500 employees in the United States and the United Kingdom in mid-September. During that time, we engaged with IT professionals spanning roles that included manager, director, c-suite titles, as well as non-technical enterprise workers in remote roles due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The divide between IT and remote workers is real and growing
One of the key takeaways from the survey results, as previously reported, is the burgeoning divide between IT and remote workers. Unfortunately, the data announced today further validates this trend.
When it comes to remote work, IT rates the experience 21% higher than remote workers do. Specifically from an IT, tools and technology perspective, IT professionals rate their experience a 7.6/10 while general remote workers rank their experience as only a 6.3/10.
This gap might best be understood from the remote worker’s perspective. 75% of IT leaders surveyed reported either a moderate or large increase in support tickets since March, yet, only 46% of tickets were actually resolved. In addition, more than one quarter (26%) of employees do not believe that their feedback is ever addressed at all.
Remote workers disrupted by security solutions
Ensuring the availability, integrity and confidentiality of the remote work experience is a major objective for IT and security teams. Yet, nearly 70% of remote workers reported that security products, such as VPNs and authentication software, make their job harder. Additionally, 58% consider the impact of security tools detrimental to productivity.
This sentiment helps explain the growing popularity of software defined perimeters (SDP), offering zero trust network access to anyone working outside the corporate network. According to our research, 80% of IT and security teams are now considering adopting some form of SDP technology.
In addition, the proliferation of shadow IT continues to surge as a concern among IT teams, as 25% of remote workers admit to using a significant number of tools outside of official company policy, while another 36% admit to using some.
IT turning to digital experience monitoring
Nobody can say with any certainty how long most workers will remain remote. One thing for certain, however, is that a complete return to office life is highly unlikely. So, it makes sense that IT teams turn their attention to reversing the fractured nature of their relationship with employees. Digital experience monitoring – which gathers data to better understand the true experience of workers – might hold the answer.
Presently, only 1 in 3 companies (33%) report using a dedicated experience monitoring solution, while 49% are using a variety of disparate point solutions to try to gauge the remote worker experience. Amazingly, 18% of organizations – or about 1 in 6 – are not monitoring at all.
However, as a result of COVID-19, more than 50% of organizations are now more likely to invest in experience monitoring, according to our survey.
Digital experience monitoring can provide IT and security teams with the information and root cause analysis needed to help distributed workers troubleshoot various tech challenges related to network slowdowns, device problems, application crashes, web errors and countless other criteria. This technology can also be used to preemptively identify worker burnout and greatly accelerate the resolution of trouble tickets. While digital experience monitoring alone is unlikely to bridge the gap between IT and remote workers, it represents an enormous, easy to deploy step in the right direction.