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Five Ways Leaders Can Support Remote Work

The rapid shift to remote work has created new challenges for organizations, but survey data shows organizations around the world are experimenting with creative solutions.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many employees to work from home, and the magnitude of the shift to remote work is staggering. Before the pandemic, about 15% of U.S. employees were working from home at least some of the time.1 During the first half of April, half of U.S. employees were doing all of their work remotely.2

This rapid shift has surfaced challenges with remote work that may have escaped people’s notice when the practice was more limited in scope. To understand these challenges, we conducted two surveys in April. During the first half of the month, we surveyed 441 global HR leaders, asking about the most pressing issues they were facing during the COVID-19 pandemic, what actions they had taken, and what had worked well in their organizations.3 Several of their top concerns — protecting the health and well-being of employees (listed by 22% of all respondents), preserving jobs (12%), and complying with government regulations (6%) — reflected the challenges of dealing with the public health crisis and economic downturn.

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