Remote Workforce Preparedness Survey: Learn Who got “Switched” and See the Results!


January 11, 2021

Congratulations to Tara Hutchins-Welsh, Chief Operating Officer of Marketing & Administration for Arlington Life Shelter, who walked away with our grand prize of a Nintendo Switch in December. Arlington Life Shelter, located at 325 W. Division Street Arlington, Texas 76011, promotes self-sufficiency by providing shelter, employment programs and transitional services for North Texans impacted by homelessness. Founded in 1987, the facility has grown from 43 beds to 120 with an additional 20 spaces available for use during severe weather situations.

We’d also like to congratulate our T-Shirt winners and remind everyone that the next survey and opportunity to win will be coming soon, so keep an eye out!

We are excited to share the results of the Remote Workforce Preparedness survey with you!

Average Size of Participating Businesses? Between 21 and 75 employees.

49% of businesses surveyed have between 21 and 75 employees while 34% have under 20. 7% report a staff of over 150 and the other 10% have a workforce of between 76-150.

The Sudden Shift to Remote Work Caught 36% of Our Participants Off Guard

Modern Workplace Journey Infographic

36% of participants admit that they did not have the infrastructure in place to equip them for remote work. 64%, however, stated that they were ready for the remote workplace.

Did Microsoft products help ease the transition? Yes!

  • 59% of people that felt they were well-prepared for the sudden shift to remote work use the full Microsoft Suite​
  • 10% that felt prepared for the shift currently only use Microsoft for email. ​
  • 29% that felt prepared for the shift use multiple Microsoft applications but not the full suite ​
  • Only 2% that felt prepared for the sudden shift to remote work aren’t using any Microsoft products at all

Takeaway? No big surprise: the more Microsoft products a business used, the more prepared they were for the remote workforce transition.

Remarkably, only 19% of businesses surveyed have all employees working from home.

  • 54% of businesses surveyed said their remote workforce is currently 10% or less of their employees.
  • 12% of participants report between 30 to 50% of their workforce is working from home.
  • 15% of businesses said they are between 10 to 30% remote workers
  • 19% have between 50 to 100% of their workforce working remotely.

When Do Businesses Foresee a return to “Business as Usual?”

  • 44% expect to return to the office within six months
  • 4% expect that it will take up to a year to return to the office
  • 33% do not expect to return to the office. Of these, 59% use the full Microsoft suite while 41% only use Microsoft for email or other individual applications
  • 19% of businesses surveyed are reporting that they are unsure when they will return to normal operations. This is up 10% since our Pandemic Impact Survey in October

Do Businesses Use Microsoft Products such as Outlook and Teams?

  • 54% report using the full Microsoft suite
  • 31% use Microsoft for certain applications such as Outlook, Word, and Teams
  • 10% use Microsoft only for Outlook email, a six percent reduction in companies limiting their Microsoft usage to email only in our Pandemic Impact Survey.
  • 5% do not use Microsoft products in their work environments, down from 16% who weren’t using Microsoft when surveyed back in October.

How Concerned are You About the Level of Cybersecurity Your Organization Has While Your Employees are Working Remotely?

  • 72% of participants admit they are concerned; in fact, 14% say they are very concerned
  • 27% do not feel they have any security issues
  • 1% admit that they do not understand their business’ cybersecurity platforms

47% of Businesses Surveyed Don’t Know All the Applications Employees Are Using

While 53% of participants are aware of how many applications they use, an amazingly high 47% have no idea what applications their employees are accessing for work.

How Productive Do You Feel Your Teams are When working remotely?

  • 30% of businesses surveyed said they feel that their remote teams are evenly split between employees who have increased in productivity and those who have decreased.
  • 40% feel that their employees are just as productive now as when they were on-site.
  • 16% confess that their employee productivity seems to have decreased.
  • 14% say that employee productivity has increased

Does Microsoft help employees stay productive?

88% of companies that use the full Microsoft suite said their employee productivity remained unchanged or saw productivity increase.

Takeaway? The leader in software helps employees maintain or increase productivity.

Are Employees Equipped, or Are They on Their Own?

  • 36% of businesses have issued laptops, PCs, or Macs but employees are still using their own personal mobile devices
  • 34% of companies have been equipped with all the devices they need
  • 21% of businesses surveyed have equipped some employees with work-issued devices while allowing others to use their personal devices
  • The bad news? 9% of employees are exclusively using their personal devices for work

11% of Companies Report They Are Now Living in the Cloud

  • 57% of participants said there was no change to their organization’s cloud services
  • 24% have shifted some services to the cloud while keeping other services on servers
  • 8% of businesses surveyed do not use cloud services at all
  • 11% of those surveyed have made a complete transition to cloud services

How Long Can Companies Keep Their Remote Workforces?

  • 57% of participants feel they are ready to sustain their remote workforce indefinitely
  • 36% feel they can only maintain a remote workforce for the short term, six months to a year
  • Oh boy: 4% stated they are unable to continue with a remote workforce any longer than 6 months
  • Uh oh: 3% pf respondents are concerned that they will be unable to maintain their remote workforces for longer than a few months

If You’re Happy and You Know it, Work Remote

It’s an even split on morale, with 21% report that morale is higher and 21% reporting it has decreased. The good news is that 58% of participants state that employee morale seems unchanged.

Money is a Concern for 26% of Businesses, But Not the Only Concern

When asked what the biggest IT concern is currently, businesses had a lot to say:

  • 26% are reporting concerns with their IT budget
  • 22% of participants have concerns with cybersecurity
  • 19% report concerns with network speed and reliability
  • 5% are concerned with making permanent changes to transition some of their workforce to permanent remote work

Still, 28% of respondents report no real IT concerns with their remote workforce. Compared to our last survey, we found that the percentage of businesses concerned with a permanent transition to remote work remains unchanged.  Also unchanged was the percentage of participants concerned with their network speed and reliability. IT Budget concerns, however, have risen 17% since our November survey.


If you’re looking for real information about sustaining your remote workforce, our free, no obligation Modern Workplace Essentials Kit is your one-stop resource. This valuable kit is full of do-it-yourself assessments and checklists, eBooks, on-demand webinars, a complete guide to strengthening your own cybersecurity platforms, sample policies, and other tips you can use right now to get the most from your remote teams. 

Ready to reach out for a more personalized IT strategy? Email us at today.  

If you’re already an Iconic IT customer, don’t forget to check out our referral program for your chance to receive $1000 cash, or one month of free services from Iconic IT.  

Keep your eye out for our next survey! YOU could be our next winner! 

We're Integris. We're always working to empower people through technology.

Keep reading

Strong Cybersecurity Postures: How to Unleash their Power

Strong Cybersecurity Postures: How to Unleash their Power

In the vast digital landscape where virtual dragons and sneaky trolls roam a strong cybersecurity posture has never been more important. Imagine a band of modern-day knights led by our protagonist, Alex. Armed with a trusty laptop and a cup of coffee, Alex navigates...

How to Spot a Phishing Attack in 2023

How to Spot a Phishing Attack in 2023

In 2023 cyber threats lurk behind every tree trunk in today's digital jungle, and cybersecurity awareness is more critical than ever. Among the craftiest of these threats are phishing attacks. Phishing attacks are cunningly engineered with social manipulation at their...

How to Choose an IT Consultant in Boulder, CO

Regardless of industry size or type, Boulder IT consultants play a massive role in the way companies in the Boulder area do business. While most companies may have their own in-house IT department, many of these departments are small and cannot handle all the...