Remote Working & Productivity

I read an interesting article over the weekend from the HR Daily Advisor which discussed productivity in the new world of work.

It has hard to believe that is almost 12 months since the majority of the workplace had to transition to remote working and while the general perception is that we have seen a very successful transition, it is certainly not a case of one size fits all.

Bert Miller the CEO of MRINetwork offered his opinion that the success of remote work primarily comes down to the type of individual and their role. He felt it worked well for highly disciplined employees and highly technical positions that can be done from anywhere and delivered successfully against effective project management methodologies.

It follows that in almost any environment disciplined, self starters will have the greatest chance of success but what about the newer and younger members of staff. this cohort are missing out on the informal learning, mentoring and relationship building that may impact on their career long term.

Although we often hear of the new world of work, the reality is that more experienced employees were working in a hybrid environment where they mixed in office working with home/remote working. The pandemic did not bring about a new environment for them and many were very comfortable with the new guidelines from the off compared to their more junior colleagues.

Morale was and is a challenge for many and when morale is low, productivity suffers. We have all heard the happy and healthy employees create a better business, but 2020 was not a joyful year for many and this had implications for businesses.

I then read the finding of an Arkphire survey on the Irish marketplace which focused on the perceived success of remote working between business leaders and office workers. Over 200 Directors and 500 employees were interviewed, and some key takeaways were:

  • 39% of employees felt office camaraderie had deteriorated during remote working while 54% of Director’s felt it had improved.
  • 56% of Directors feel they are performing better in terms of maintaining a cohesive company culture but 28% of the employees interviewed feel the culture has deteriorated.
  • A cause for concern for employers was if the employee was spending time looking for a new role while working remotely with 63% of respondents concerned about this and when this question was put to the employees their concerns were well founded with 52% of respondents admitting that they are spending some of their remote working day looking at or for new opportunities.

Employee retention is a topic on many agendas for 2021. The pandemic in 2020 halted a lot of plans due to the general uncertainity but as Vaccines are rolled out and business confidence returns, Talent Partners believe we will see a buoyant job market in the second half of 2021 and into 2022 and how your employees felt they were treated in the last 12 months will play a major part in their decision making process.

If you feel you can improve here then remember those words of wisdom “It’s never too late to start”.