Research Digested: How 4 in 5 SMEs are overcoming the work from home challenge during Covid-19, Onecom

Onecom report cover

A snapshot of useful research for L&D and workplace professionals

Why read this report

Yes, there are lots of reports into how employers and employers are managing the homeworking challenge, but it’s a really important issue, so there’s always space for more research. This report, by business communications company Onecom, looks at how people and organisations have found working from home and what the tech communications issues have been.

About the research

Onecom interviewed 1000 workers from SMEs, asking them about the challenges and opportunities presented by homeworking. The end of the report features advice on how to overcome common tech, comms, organisational and team management challenges facing homeworkers.

Standout stats

Moving to remote ways of working was always going to through up challenges for organisations. These are some of the problems highlighted in the report:

  • 86% of participants reported having significant communications, team management or technology challenges to overcome since lockdown started, in order to maintain business as usual.
  • 50% have dealt with issues related to facilitating group calls or finding comms platforms that work for their teams
  • 23% have had issues receiving or sending emails from home
  • 22% have had to deal with team misunderstandings or poor communication due to reduced face-to-face time with colleagues
  • 23% said managing a range of different comms platforms used across multiple teams and organisations has been a problem

Hardware/software problems

  • 21% of respondents have had issues with their broadband connection
  • 15% of SME workers have had problems accessing the necessary hardware, such as phones and laptops
  • 20% of small businesses struggled sourcing adequate software platforms to facilitate homeworking
  • 14% have had issues maintaining security since the shift to remote working

It’s not just tech barriers that SMEs have had to overcome

  • 27% said managing employees remotely is problematic
  • 21% said it is hard to maintain employees’ morale remotely

Final word

Homeworking has affected productivity for a lot of workers (67%), some positively and others negatively:

  • 56% say productivity has increased
  • 28% productivity has stayed the same
  • 39% says it has decreased
  • 54% of workers feel more motivated
  • 28% say motivation has stayed the same
  • 42% are less motivated
  • 58% of workers are communicating and collaborating as before or more frequently
  • 29% are using comms and messaging platforms like Slack more
  • 37% are communicating less with others
  • 31% say they have been more communications errors since lockdown


Report reading time: 10 minutes

Media: Article/interactive PDF