How Has Working From Home Affected Productivity?

Published May 14th, 2020 - 03:00 GMT
How Has Working From Home Affected Productivity?
Twitter has announced that employees who wish to continue working from their homes can do so 'forever'. (Shutterstock: fizkes)

Now that the lockdown is easing around the world, following the coronavirus outbreak, many businesses, especially online-based ones, have been assessing the months-long remote work experiences, to examine how having employees working from their homes for about three months has impacted their success.

The post-COVID19 world is now unfolding slowly, as several nations across the world are going back to live through some level of normality. Public transportation is gradually increasing its capacity in most countries. Major airlines are reporting a slow yet growing travel activity, and businesses are permitted to operate "as normal as possible" with various degrees of precautionary measures.

However, the working from home experience, which allowed millions of businesses and employees to carry out their tasks on a daily basis with very minimal changes, have sparked the conversation over whether it is going to reshape the future of professional lives forever.

Prominent online-based companies Facebook and Google have both announced extending remote operations for people, who don't need to be in their offices by June until the start of 2021, despite lockdowns being lifted in many US states.

Similarly, Twitter has announced that employees who wish to continue working from their homes can do so 'forever.'

These decisions, although not yet provided with details in relevance to productivity changes in the famous tech companies during the first quarter of 2020, suggest that their results have most probably been met, if not surpassed as if people have actually been in their offices during the last few months.

Such news doesn't come as a surprise, especially that companies were not used to remote work but have managed to get work done during the last three months  through investing a lot in technological tools and gadgets that helped facilitate daily tasks for teams to ensure effective communication.

According to bi-weekly findings of surveys conducted and published by Salesfroce Research, 86% of remote workers participating rated their productivity as excellent or good.

A May 2020 report published by research and advisory services firm Valoir, found that an average reduction of 1% only was reported by individuals working from home. The study also noted that workers with children reported a 2% decrease in productivity, while the largest loss didn't exceed 3% and was reported by workers who live entirely alone, with no other individuals in their households.

These extremely high numbers, despite businesses having very little time to shift from office operations to WFH, reflect a major success in the remote work experience, which suggests that providing employees with the option to work remotely could be the workplace trend.

Previous studies have for more than once suggested that businesses with flexible location or hours options tend to be a much more popular and "cool" option among individuals who seek employment, mainly because it gives them the chance to enjoy controlling their times and lifestyles. 

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