Working Remotely: Effects on Efficiency
The prediction and what actually happened to the levels of productivity after the Coronavirus forced employees to start to work from home.
There is a global discussion happening in various workplaces right now about how the Coronavirus and quarantine have changed levels of productivity and efficiency among employees.
The pandemic and mandated quarantines caused deep concern for corporations. Firms needed to ensure that they could successfully shift the way their business is conducted without losing many customers. They also needed to be able to trust that their employees would be able to maintain a certain level of productivity to guarantee that resources and time were still being maximized—even when being accomplished outside of the office.
A widespread prediction was that there would be a significant decline in levels of productivity among most firms after sending employees home.
What’s Really Happening
Individuals working from home have proved this prediction false. Across the board, employees been able to maintain the same level of productivity as they were when working in the office. In fact, some firms have recorded an increase in productivity levels. CNN reached out to firms regarding this topic and reported that 67% of firms said their productivity stayed same and 27% said their productivity increased (Sahadi, 2020).
Less Time Wasted
It is interesting to try and predict how levels of productivity have gone up instead of down. For one, the long and dreadful commute to and from the office has been eliminated from the equation. Not only has this saved the average stay-at-home worker multiple hours of being stuck in traffic per week, but it has also cleared up the congested highways which has saved essential workers time being stuck in traffic during their commute. Saving time in the morning and evening can encourage employees to open their computer 30 minutes early and stay 30 minutes later which increases their individual productivity by five hours each week. Imagine if every employee did this.
Other factors that are being eliminated by working at home are the many distractions that happen in the workplace. Now that there is no small talk between cubicles, no lingering coffee breaks and no water cooler conversations, there are less distractions to get employees off track.
Communicate and Collaborate
There are benefits to working from home including increased productivity among employees. However, remote working can create issues as well. It is important for managers to make sure employees are reaching out when they need help and are still working with one another to bring new and innovative ideas to the table. Communication and collaboration are crucial for a firm to survive especially during times like these.
Sahadi, Jeanne. “90% Of Employers Say Working Remotely Hasn't Hurt Productivity.” CNN, Cable News Network, 27 Aug. 2020, www.cnn.com/2020/08/27/success/work-from-home-employer-plans-for-more-flexible-policies/index.html.