On April 26th, Gartner released a survey they conducted on workers’ reliance on digital collaboration tools and their changing relationship with technology since COVID-19 and the transition to remote work. The survey was conducted in November and December 2020 among 10,000 full-time employees at organizations with 100 or more employees in the United States, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. The goal of the survey was to better understand workers’ technology and workplace experiences and sentiments.

The key takeaway from the report was that nearly one in five workers (18%) consider themselves to be digital technology experts since COVID-19, while over half consider themselves proficient. According to Whit Andrews, Research Vice President,” Workers seized on the crisis to improve their mastery of a wide range of technologies and applications in the space of a few months. He added, “Today’s workplace is vastly different from 2019’s, and CIOs must prepare their technology stacks, office spaces, IT teams and mindsets to embrace the new future of the digital workplace.”

COVID-19 had a grand effect on the culture and technology at every organization. Some of the shifts Gartner identified from the survey include.

Last year, workers increased their reliance on mobile devices, which doesn’t come as a surprise. Workers reported an 11% increase in work time spent on laptops, smartphones, and tablets, and a decline of 8% of the use of desktop workstations.

The survey also found that 50% of workers are using their personal technology for work purposes. This ranges from printers, monitors, to personal laptops. As remote work continues well into 2021, employers need to prioritize getting employees the tools they need to be productive in their jobs.

One of the major findings from this survey revolves around flexibility and productivity. For many years, organizations limited remote work options because they thought it would decrease employee productivity; however, 36% of respondents reported an increase in productivity with 35% reporting no change. Of the respondents who reported that their productivity fell, they cited connectivity issues and technology changes as the driving factors.

The greatest factor in increased productivity was the flexibility in working hours. In addition to working remotely this past year, employers gave workers the option to work more flexible hours to meet the demands of work and home life.