Is working from home as productive as it seems?

Some employers are now thinking that homeworking has boosted productivity, yet remote work still proves controversial to some.

In June 2020, 28% of employers surveyed said they felt remote working improved worker productivity levels. In the latest update, from data collected between 14 December 2020 and 4 January 2021, a third (33%) said that they think productivity has improved.

Employers are also now less likely to say productivity has decreased as a result of homeworking, 23% said it had in 2021 compared with 28% in June last year.

Those who said it has not made a difference stayed at 38% year on year.

Many employers have already begun considering their hybrid working options for when staff can return to the workplace if they want to.

Some larger employers are allowing employees to decide their own working hours and decide themselves how many days they wish to spend in the office with the rest working remotely.

However, the downside to this is a decline in team working.

Nothing replaces physical presence and virtual meetings do not help you bond with your colleagues in quite the same way.

Some jobs just cannot be done from home, and some employers do not have the trust of their workforce or the culture to ensure that what needs doing gets done.

There are as many employers who are calling workers back to the office as there are those who are embracing the ‘new normal’

It is rather telling that only one third are reporting more productivity from home working. Many employers have doubts, thinking there are more distractions at home, looking after the kids and many have also been forced to work in less-than- ideal working environments as their home is just not set up for home and work life.

The value of face-to-face communications cannot be underestimated or undervalued – bonds can break down without it leading to less engagement, lower motivation and then productivity will suffer to.

So ultimately, working from home has brought many benefits and some people will have increased their productivity but this is not across the board.

Many businesses, employees and employers have struggled with the challenges of remote working.

Going forward it will be important for each business to strike the balance that works for them – employers need to consider flexible working but employees need to be realistic to understand that not all roles can be done from home.