Recently there was somewhat a lively debate if working at home during lockdown made people more productive or maybe the opposite and they were much less efficient than ever.

There are many companies who do not routinely measure productivity. A large number of those are traditionally assume that they will get a highest output when staff works longer hours or staff is under close and constant supervision but remote working certainly created a new level of measuring things. Some major firms, known to everyone have been sufficiently impressed to make remote working a permanent option for their staff.

There is of course the other end of the stick and some businesses insist that remote working is actually compromising productivity and therefore this pattern is not workable in the long term. So you would wonder – who is right?

All the surveys are tend not to be efficient at measuring productivity objectively however the surveyors are trying to improve on this and trying to get information at first hand from these who are working from home on permanent basis. As an effect of research conducted in this field they have found that 54% respondents thought they got either “a little more” or “much more” done per hour versus what they would have achieved working before the lockdown. This combined with those who responded that productivity was at the same level that before they started working from home, it meant that almost 90% reported that their productivity had been maintained or improved – echoing the results of other studies. In other words, barely one in 10 people reported that their productivity levels had gone down during the lockdown. So knowing this, why working remotely have made most people more productive, but some less so?

The analyse won’t be fair if we would not take into account mental health of employees. Higher productivity is always associated with better mental health. We can only guess that poor mental health causes or contributes to a decline in productivity although I do believe that this sentence is fairly reasonable and most likely true.

Over 90% of workers reported that they could concentrate on one activity for a long time, 94% said they were able to use autonomy afforded them by their employers to reorder work tasks, 85% were able to control their thoughts from distracting them from the task in hand and 83% said that they had no problem resuming a concentrated style of working after an interruption. Each of these dimensions of self regulation were strongly positively correlated with high productivity levels per each hour worked. It is fair to mention that, of course, many people working from home were forced to do so by the current climate with pandemic and they are struggling with mental health challenges such as isolation, economical problems, home schooling as well as other health problems. If organisations want to ensure that employees are productive working from home, the value of investing in measures to support psychological wellbeing is pretty clear.

We must say that social disconnection of working remotely over extended period of time may as well erode people’s mental wellbeing and productivity in the future – especially for individuals who interfacing with colleagues and clients more often than others. With that in mind, the hybrid model could be better which will allow employees to work some days at the office and some other ones at home to bring healthy balance between socialising, mental health and keeping productivity and happiness in equal measures.

How is your productivity when you work from home compared to what it was when you were working in the office? Feel free to let me know in the comments section below.

All the best,


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