Previously viewed as an added bonus to flexible work time, remote work has all but encompassed today’s business operations. There is a myriad of opinions and range of studies on remote productivity, so we’re taking a closer look at how that productivity is measured. This research is at the forefront of designing a hybrid work model for the future. Studies show that workers can be just as if not more productive at home, but only if other factors like engagement and visibility are aligned.
At this point, we are all familiar with the pros of implementing remote work to lessen the virus’ impact on business continuity. However, one question lingers, are people just as effective and productive working from home? We’re examining the impact remote work has had on productivity and breaking down how leadership teams can enhance their business continuity planning.
How Is Productivity Measured?
Before we break down the details on remote productivity, it is relevant to understand how this data is measured. The most well-known representation of productivity is an individual’s GDP, or gross domestic product. GDP measures individual output over a year’s time. Analyzing productivity is more complex than profit earned, as it encompasses the quantity, quality, and effectiveness of someone’s work.
Today, researchers studying productivity understand that a higher volume of output does not always translate to greater results. A person’s productivity lies in the crux of how well they do their work and how much they are able to complete in a certain timeframe. For example, a remote worker’s productivity may be measured by how many more phone calls they are making each week compared to how many they made while working in the office.
After giving employees the opportunity to work from home for nine months back in 2017, travel planning service CTrip studied the impacts with the Department of Economics at Stanford University. They found that remote employees made 13.5% more calls than in-office employees, which is the equivalent to nearly an additional days’ output.
Additionally, an Airtasker study from 2019 found that “on average, remote employees worked 1.4 more days every month, or 16.8 more days every year, than those who worked in an office.” That’s a significant amount of concentration and productivity! On top of that, remote workers take shorter breaks, and often work longer hours than if they were onsite.
Micro-Adjustments That Can Boost Your Team’s Remote Productivity
Data has long supported the effectiveness of remote work, but it isn’t all peaches and cream. Remote workers often report feelings of isolation, and difficulty unplugging from work at the end of a long day. When it comes to managing remote teams, businesses have adopted creative methodology for engaging and supporting their teams. These three components of boosting remote productivity resonated with us:
Take time to help remote workers increase their visibility.
Naturally, working from home indefinitely can cause feelings of loneliness or doubt like, “does my team know that I am working? Is my work still valued?” However, there are a few techniques that can help remote employees improve their visibility. Make an effort to schedule out one-on-one conversations to check with members of your team, so they know they are seen and heard. Also encourage individuals to share their projects with the team. Sharing and discussing insights from different roles increases collaboration, engagement and visibility.
In addition to company goals, promote your teams’ wellness and work-life balance.
Work on providing crystal clear and consistent communication, to everyone.
Finally, communication is the ultimate underlying factor when it comes to boosting remote productivity. A survey of 350 HR Professionals found that nearly half, 47%, noted that frequent, transparent communication was the most important part of their organization’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Employees appreciate the transparency of knowing how and why leadership teams are making their decisions. People feel supported and more comfortable asking questions when communication from leadership is steady and recurring.
Embracing Hybrid And Flexible Work Models For The Future
This year we are able to measure remote productivity like never before. Many insights have been gained from this global work from home experiment as we continue to come out stronger on the other side. Managing remote teams may be a complex undertaking, but with diligence and practice, success is obtainable.
After all, as the uncertainty of the pandemic endures, companies will have more of a chance to flex their creative muscles. With a strong basis for understanding remote productivity, we encourage companies to continue to build structures that greater complement remote work and support employees.
Here at BWBacon Group, we know and live what you are experiencing as an employer or job seeker in Denver, Boulder, Dallas, San Francisco, New York City or any of the other cities we work in. We believe great recruiting starts and ends with understanding people.
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