What has the pandemic taught us about the future of remote work?

Tools used in this project
What has the pandemic taught us about the future of remote work?

About this project

This dashboard was created for submission in the March 2022 Maven Analytics Remote Work Challenge. This submission was selected as the winner and is the first challenge winner created exclusively in Excel.

Use Case:

This interactive Excel dashboard allows the user to assess:

  • the productivity and morale implications of working remotely and
  • essential components to consider for remote work policies of the future

by examining survey data from employees and managers of the New South Wales state government from 2021.

Key Learnings:

  1. BEING MORE PRODUCTIVE was the #1 benefit identified by both managers and employees of having a remote work option

  1. HOW MUCH REMOTE WORK IS DESIRED CHANGES based on the personal and work needs of individuals
  • in general, remote work does save time for individuals, but the amount of time varies greatly depending on the household composition (eg. singles save more time than those with dependents)
  • in general, if an individual identifies barriers to doing their work remotely, they want less remote work

  1. REMOTE WORK POLICIES need to be clear and flexible
  • making it easy to get permission was the #1 element staff suggested for successful remote work policy across all industries

About the Data:

These insights were prepared from the analysis of 1,512 survey responses from a March-April 2021 survey of state government employees of New South Wales regarding their experiences with remote work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

My Approach:

This was my first ever attempt entering a Data Challenge. A connection in my network on LinkedIn had shared the Maven Data Challenge post less than one week before the submission deadline. This short turnaround forced me to by hyper focused and make quick decisions on my approach.

Decision #1: The Tool - Use Excel for Full Stack Analysis and Presentation

  • I originally began my analysis in Power BI however, I quickly shifted to Excel as it is the analytics tool I have the most experience with and can move the fastest in.
  • When I was done my dashboard, I worried that a submission using Excel would not be competitive but decided that having something to submit was better than never submitting anything at all! You can read more detail about how I felt pushing the submission button in the blog I wrote here: Stacy Giroux: My Path to Maven

Decision #2: The Data Set - Limit the Analysis to the 2021 Data Set

  • Two surveys were included in the data set: one from September 2020, one from March / April 2021
  • I quickly decided to limit my analysis to the 2021 data set because
    • The questions changed between the two surveys limiting options for analysis around changes in response over time
    • The 2021 data was the most recent of the two data sets.
    • The 2021 represented doubled the time (1-year vs 6-months) that the respondents had experienced remote work
    • With >1,500 responses in the 2021 data set, I felt the single survey had sufficient responses to be representative and draw conclusions from

Decision #3: Dashboard Type - Exploratory with Ability to Drill Down for Specific Scenarios

  • My analysis indicated that results varied depending on factors such as industry, working situation, and household structure.
  • Reflecting all this nuance would be a challenge in a single page static report and could limit the user from drawing conclusions that were relevant to them and their scenario.
  • I decided an interactive dashboard would allow each user to hone in on specific factors that applied to them or were of interest to them. They could even conduct comparisons between factors to explore a deeper understanding (see gif in Additional Images section).

Note: I leveraged my experience with PivotTables to create the interactive functionality of this dashboard. Since then, I’ve been introduced to the Dynamic Array functions thanks to Chris Dutton’s Excel Formulas and Functions course and would love to retry creating this dashboard using those functions. The benefit of redoing it with these would be a simpler user experience when selecting the drill-down criteria.

Decision #4: The Design - Question and Answer Layout

  • The questions in the dashboard are the same ones I formulated for myself when I sat down to prepare the analysis, so it really came almost second nature for me to structure the layout the same way.
  • I think a strength of using a Q&A format is the way it draws the user / reader in. If you’re interested in the question, you’ll be interested in the answer. And if you only have time to scan the document, you can hone in on what specifically interests you.
  • When using a Q&A format, I always wanted to make sure the answers are clear. The Key Take-Aways at the bottom are there to ensure each user can confidently come away with the conclusions that were drawn from the analysis.

Additional project images

Discussion and feedback(1 comment)
Dakota Brown
Dakota Brown
over 1 year ago
Beautiful work, Stacy!
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