Efficiency of Home Working

24 Sep 2020 7:37 PM | John Heap (Administrator)



There have been lots of comments about how well the transformation to home working has gone - with many firms claiming that productivity has remained steady or even increased.  Employees seem to value the flexibility and the lack of commuting time. So - a real win-win situation?


More recently the shine seems to be wearing off. Dig below the surface and there is increasing evidence that home working is taking a toll on employees emotionally, as interpersonal contact diminishes and this lack of contact builds anxiety about job insecurity. 


There is also a reasonable probability that some of the productivity gains being claimed  by employers do not actually exist - with employers misjudging positive employee comments for positive contribution and performance.


Research by 451 found that only 11% of employees felt more productive and more engaged with remote work than working from the office. Not surprisingly, these positive respondents tended to be more senior within a company, had prior experience with remote work, and were generally more tech-savvy, said Chris Marsh, a principal research analyst with 451, a division of S&P Global Market Intelligence.


So, the good performance by a small number of important employees may have skewed overall views.


This is typical of much change.  There is initial enthusiasm which gives a lift to performance but the novelty soon wears off and ‘the cracks in the surface’ start to emerge and widen.


Some companies will have benefitted from the change - but this is much more likely for certain industries and tasks than others. Lack of regular intra-team and inter-team communication can be very damaging for some tasks and processes.


So, look at the figures - and keep looking over time. Home working may work for your organisation - or for part of it.  But other parts may need to get back to the office.



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