With work remote, companies consider whether they’re more productive

Digiday 08 May 2020 04:00
May 8, 2020 by Lucinda Southern

The great work from home experiment is heading into month three for most people. As companies consider a halting return to offices, they’re also taking stock of an essential question: Is remote work more productive?

Ask employees and, surprise, you’ll get mixed responses. Those who are new to remote working, rather than grizzled vets, struggle more with productivity: Nearly one-third of people who have been working remotely for a month say it has negatively affected their productivity, according to instant messaging tool Slack. Only 13% of experienced remote workers feel the same.

What’s more, the view of work from home is colored by, well, your home. If you’re sorted on child care and working from the study of your vacation home, you might think this remote work world is absolutely the future. If you’re a harried lower-run employee in a cramped apartment, juggling endless work Zooms with elementary school Zooms, you might have another view.

That’s made blanket productivity approaches hard to pull off for companies. To adapt to changing employees’ needs, companies are shortening meeting length, relaxing the end of the working week and making a point of leading by example in taking time to decompress. 

“That’s a pretty hectic schedule,” said Rezab. “You might be able to keep it for a month or three but if you’re going to be keeping it long term that’s not healthy for you.”

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Jan Rezabproductivity analytics platform Time is LtdTime is Ltd PeopleGroupMTime is Ltd
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