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Capterra's Remote Working Global Report reveals how Australian SMEs have responded to COVID-19 versus the rest of the world.

57% of Australian SMEs went fully remote due to the coronavirus crisis.

New research published by software review platform, Capterra, looks at a global perspective of current & future remote working trends. It discovered 59% of small and medium-sized businesses around the globe (57% for Australia) went fully remote due to the coronavirus crisis.

Sydney, Australia, (14th May 2020) - The study also suggests the crisis may represent a shift in SMEs remote work policies, as more than half (55%) of respondents worldwide believed their business could function permanently with remote work staff. A staggering 87% of Australian interviewees (68% globally) would also like this trend to continue. Among the most cited work from home benefits for Australians were; no commute (44%), adjustable work hours (36%) and a casual dress code (34%).

The approval of remote work is almost unanimous around the world. 74% say they like or really like it (70% for Australia), however, loneliness, communication and poor password management culture are important areas for concern.

Loneliness and communication problems

Communication with colleagues (35%) was the main challenge identified by Australian employees and is mirrored by almost a third (32%) throughout the world. Although this is the case, only 37% of companies across the globe have provided guidelines on this topic and also much less, (26%) on maintaining a healthy work: life balance.

Loneliness was another global issue. Almost a third (32%) of respondents said a lack of social connections was a major emotional challenge. For Australians, 35% also experienced problems with their internet connection which only magnified the issues. 

One way interviewees have tried to combat the loneliness is with video chat and collaboration software. Compared to 54% of SMEs in France, 53% in Germany and 54% in The Netherlands, 63% of Australian businesses have purchased or installed new software to stay connected and to socialise with their teams.

Poor password management culture puts Australian SMEs at risk

Capterra also investigated how companies are dealing with IT security in the home office. The numbers show a generally unprepared workforce who are putting themselves at risk of cyberattacks.

Encouragingly, global figures (46%) show employees have changed their primary work password within the last month (41% for Australians). Despite this, Australian SMEs are demonstrating other lax security practices, with 27% still writing down their passwords and 45% relying only on memory. 44% of Australian interviewees were also guilty of sharing passwords between personal and business accounts and a staggering 68% always or sometimes use a personal device for work.

The importance of security measures becomes clearer when we observe that 50% of global employees suffered phishing attacks during remote work. More than a quarter of Australian respondents have fallen victim to phishing emails with a shocking 48% misled by a topic related to COVID-19.” - Anna Hammond, Content Analyst

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Survey Methodology

The conclusions are part of a new global research study released by the review platform Capterra, investigating how SMEs are conducting their shift to remote work due to the COVID-19 crisis. 

To collect the data, Capterra surveyed 4600 small and mid-sized businesses employees from Australia, Brazil, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands and The UK who are working remotely as a response to COVID-19. The interviews were conducted between 4th April 2020 and 14th April 2020.


About Capterra

Capterra helps organizations around the world find the right software for their needs. Founded in 1999, Capterra’s global product footprint, verified user reviews backbone, independent research, and tailored comparison tools, provide more than five million in-market buyers with a confidence-building discovery experience every month. For more information, visit Capterra.com.au

Media contact

To learn more about this data or request supporting imagery and graphics, please contact Jaz Worrell (Jaz.Worrell@gartner.com) or Anna Hammond (Anna.Hammond@gartner.com).