When the working world left the office to work from home last March, employers and their IT teams were left trying to figure out how to make the transition as seamless as possible and give employees the technology they needed to work from home effectively.
Now that we’re into year two of this experiment, we have a much better idea of what technology remote workers actually need, and it’s largely communications technology leading the way, according to an Office Depot survey.
The survey of nearly 1,000 remote workers sheds light on what pieces of technology help them stay productive and successful, including software and hardware.
It’s no surprise that videoconferencing apps were the no. 1 piece of software used by successful remote workers. That category was followed by team chat apps, cloud storage, shared calendar, online office suite, remote desktop software, screen-sharing, project management software, productivity tracking, and tutorials on internal processes and software.
For specific brands used, Zoom took the top spot, followed by Microsoft Teams, Dropbox, Google Suite, Google Chat, Slack, Evernote, Teamwork, Blink and Basecamp.
For each industry analyzed in the survey – educational services, financial activities, information and professional and business services – Zoom was the most popular tool with a 58% usage rate, followed by Microsoft Teams at 47%.
For hardware, headphones and a mouse were the most commonly used among successful remote workers at 54% each. Other equipment used essentially help remote workers outfit their home office, including an adjustable desk chair, desk, second monitor, video call camera, external keyboard, desk lamp, external microphone and seat cushion.
The most critical equipment for day-to-day operations across three generations was a second monitor, but Millennials and Gen Xers fund headphones to be more of a necessity than Baby Boomers, who valued their mice more.
Of course, every organization is different and different industries require different technologies and services, but the survey made it clear that videoconferencing and unified communication tools can make or break your remote and hybrid work experience.