Global WFH study: What people like

Phrasia has processed more than 4,000 open-ended responses to a global Work From Home study.   The below map shows views from over 20 countries on what people like about WFH.  Each dot on the map is a full, open-ended response, sorted and placed on the map by our algorithm to reveal wider narrative clusters. Hover your cursor over the dots in the map to learn more. (Desktop only)

Freedom/flexibility

Narrative

Meaningfulness

Narrative

Productivity

Narrative

'Likes' map:  Narrative shape

Each Phrasia map take a unique shape based on the unique combination of statements people make.  The center of each map tends to be the "impact zone" most connected with other issues.  This map shows that the key benefits of WFH (as seen in the center) are better use of time, focus, and productivity - on both the work and home fronts. 

A large portion of the left half of the map relates to freedom, flexibility and autonomy - a significant and perhaps unexpected source of motivation in the shift to WFH.

Is it risky to trust staff to manage their time? Or riskier not to?

The work from home experiment has resulted in a large increase in flexibility, and related feelings of autonomy. In the rush to WFH at many companies, employees have made their own decisions on how best to get their work done.  While reveling in the newfound flexibility of WFH, staff feel they have proven they can manage their newfound freedoms in a responsible and productive way. Many are finding greater meaning in their work - and their lives - through this experience.

 

This presents two fundamental considerations for companies as they address the rewards and risks of this newfound autonomy:

1.  Make a conscious choice to leverage the positive motivators of autonomy, flexibility, and trust.

 

2.  Recognise the risks of technology that attempts to more tightly monitor individual work behaviors:

 

There is little doubt that tools and processes need to better fit the WFH reality.  "WFH 2.0" is needed. Still, it needs to be deployed with the knowledge that staff feel they have earned their newfound autonomy. (Importantly the "I wonder" map suggests they are not convinced that organizations will learn the right lessons on this front. )

The conventional view may perceive trusting staff to manage their own time as a risk.  But the greater risk may be NOT trusting staff to manage their own time.