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Employees lengthen holiday travel, have a different view on stress, and lack security education

As the US resumes work, the first of the two holidays for the season presents evidence that people are extending holiday travel.    Airbnb says bookings for long-term stays during the holidays are up nearly 70% in the U.S., compared to the same time in 2019.  CLEAR, the supplier of biometric security kiosks at many airports, says the median trip length of its members has doubled in 2021 vs. 2019.   According to a Deloitte survey, working vacationers plan to take twice as many trips and stay longer than those who intend to disconnect for the holidays. Three in four workers said they’d add at least one day to their holiday trips, and 38% said they’d add three to six days.  They also say they’ll increase their vacation travel budget because of their company’s work-from-home policies.    This is from Axios.

And it’s likely to continue.    From a new report  Reshaping Productivity, by The Economist Intelligence , two-thirds of business executives believe that remote work will continue in some form beyond the pandemic.  Looking at work remote practices due to the pandemic, 39% witnessed increased productivity in their organizations, 32.6% reported a decline, and the remaining 28.5% saw no change.

And in a win for technology, the study found a strong positive correlation between increased productivity and employees’ support for the uptake of digital tools, such as collaboration tools, digital workflow solutions, and online project management applications. One in five executives who witnessed a decrease in productivity in the study said they hadn’t fully implemented the remote working capabilities needed for their staff to work from home effectively.

The report concludes that it is the companies that have adapted quickly and built their capacity for flexibility throughout the pandemic who will benefit most in the future workplace, whatever it looks like.

It may not all be rainbows and unicorns.    In NTT’s Global Workplace Report, 88% of respondents said it had challenged organizational performance, and 83% said it has been challenging for employees.  Compared to operations staff, CEOs are 20 percentage points more likely to believe that their organization is very effective at managing working hours, 28 points more likely to think that they are effective at preventing burnout, and 41 points more likely to be very satisfied with their organization’s employee experience capabilities.

This awareness gap mirrors a severe lack of employee confidence. Just 38% say that their employer fully values their health and well-being, and only 23% say they are very happy working for their employer.

A recent report by Unisys revealed that 61 percent of remote and hybrid employees believe they are responsible for being aware of and preventing cyber threats. However, the report showed that a mere 21 percent of employees are actually aware of more advanced cyber threats. With 83 percent of companies sharing that they’ve had a successful transition to working remotely and 55 percent of employees want to stay remote, internet security has become a primary focus and concern despite the report finding that many remote employees lack proper internet security awareness.

Why do we care?

I love a good story based on data.      Employees are changing their behaviors to take advantage of the changes being offered by employers who moved to remote work.    Those that invested in technology had that boost in productivity in the remote work scenario… but also have blind spots to how their employees are responding to organizational challenges.  And those same employees, even the ones who are feeling good about remote working, are missing security awareness.

It’s a pile of opportunities for competitive advantage.  

Do you want to start with the core technology investment alone, or move onto that plus skills in managing people remotely using those pieces?    How about the coupling of technology with those employee experience capabilities – which the boss seems to think is going a lot better than the employees do.     Or how about actually investing in security awareness? 

With the stats saying what they do, this is a “best in class” opportunity to get all of them.    Wonder why I focus here?  Because so many are clearly not good at this.