According to a survey by office software firm, SmartWay2, nearly two-thirds of employees, don’t believe they are more productive working from home full time.
Neither workplace experts, nor the workers themselves, agree on whether office-based or home-working is optimal for productivity, despite around three-in-ten office workers having returned to their workplaces.
When working from home only 36% of office workers felt they were more productive, and around 19% felt more productive in the office. 45% reported that they were equally productive regardless of their surroundings, whether surrounded by colleagues or in a home office. SmartWay2’s statistics are based on responses from 189 UK-based office workers.
With varying conditions in the home for many employees, it is perhaps unsurprising that the preferred option was a blend of remote and office-based working: 91% of those surveyed expressed a desire to split their time between the two.
Steve Vatidis, Executive Chairman of SmartWay2 commented:
Despite COVID disruption, workers are learning how to return to their offices. But like the ever-changing lockdown measures, these results show there is no simple ‘one size fits all’ solution. Employers are under pressure to grant greater autonomy to their workforce. But they still have a lot of work to do to convince their teams of the productivity benefits offered by showing up at modern workplaces which are COVID-safe.”
While a return to offices is expected by a fifth of employees by this time next year, the current prospect of a second wave of infections suggest office flexibility will be key for employers in the future. Vatidis concludes:
Organisations that can provide a COVID-safe working environment, combined with flexibility of scheduling for when workers come into the office, will be at a distinct advantage for managing the upcoming period of change.
Employers need to be able to communicate regularly with employees and provide reassurance on safety measures and flexible working arrangements to make them feel comfortable with the environment.”