A survey conducted by SiGMA group found that whilst 9% of the iGaming sector did not implement any remote working at all, 72% implemented remote working for all and 19% implemented the practice on a rotation basis.
With the COVID-19 pandemic causing shockwaves through the industry, and the rest of the world with it, SiGMA Group conducted a survey on the effects the virus has had. The surveys, titled “Navigating COVID-19: iGaming Business Impact Survey” and “Navigating COVID-19: iGaming Operator Impact Survey”, queried businesses on how this has affected their respective workplaces, and over 100 respondents came back to us with many notable insights.
The predictable consequences of global pandemics
Negative consequences were always to be expected from such an unprecedented event in modern history, and its effects were felt by everybody from boardrooms to the entry-level staff member. This was apparent to the respondents of the survey as they touted the lack of aptitude and interest in new business to be the biggest challenge. No doubt due to business consolidating their positions and doing their best to stay afloat as certain income streams dried up.
Staff redundancies were not as widespread as one may think as only about 15% of respondent companies let staff go, and in varying degrees at that as the total number of staff who were made redundant varied between 5-20%.
Is remote working the future?
Remote working was already seeing increased popularity worldwide, but the pandemic put its wider implementation into overdrive. This is abundantly clear through our results as only 9% of respondents claimed to have not implemented any remote working protocols at all.
Interestingly, whilst 35% of those surveyed noted a negative effect on staff productivity, others saw a positive effect or not change at all (20% and 45% respectively). Whilst the negative impact on productivity is not negligible in any way, we are seeing many companies who are keeping remote working protocols for those who wish to take advantage of them. There could potentially be some more movement in the statistics as staff settle into working from home, and businesses figure out the proper infrastructure and guidelines for those taking up this scheme.
This also lead to the mass adoption of virtual meetings through software such as Zoom or Skype, which was a first for many in the industry. 20% of respondents saw the scheduling and quality of virtual meetings to be a challenge, understandably so, particularly after Zoom was inundated with scandals regarding privacy issues. Apart from virtual meetings, companies were also pushed to adopt messaging apps such as Microsoft Teams or Slack in order to keep the lines of communication between staff fluid and properly ordered.
Are people hungry for major digital events?
The aforementioned virtual meetings also transformed into wider opportunities as some, including SiGMA Group, took the opportunity to organise virtual conferences or webinars, and 65% of
respondents have at some point joined one of the available virtual conferences or webinars in recent months.
Such happenings also see a push to innovate new mediums through which to do such things, including possible experiments with Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. Respondents definitely shared an interest in seeing the boundaries of networking technology pushed with 80% of them stating an inclination towards attending a virtual ‘real-life’ simulation expo.
This also ties into another interesting data-point as, according to respondents, COVID-19 presented a marketing opportunity within the iGaming sector. When you consider that so many people were, and still are, increasingly on their computers or mobile devices, the potential to attract new business increased considerably.