Company owners were forced to embrace home offices for their employees due to the pandemic that hit at the beginning of 2020. Since then, employees rely on email, videoconferences, and the internet to do their job. While some studies point out that home offices result in better employee productivity and more collaboration between employees and managers, other studies show the exact opposite and claim the unfortunate consequence of remote work is reduced employee productivity and poor collaboration between the managers and their employees.
Companies Facilitating Quick Transition To Remote Work
When the pandemics started gaining momentum and snowballing its way through 2020, most companies had little to none time to facilitate a smooth transition to a remote work environment. Even companies that have had the concept of home office present prior to the pandemic were not used to conduct all of their operations online. As the research from Stanford University shows, 42% of all workers in the United States were working remotely in June 2020, thus telecommuting.
Research On Remote Work And Productivity
The 2013 research showed that whether remote work will contribute to an increase in productivity is mostly dependent on the management style. However, it also pointed out that the US employers save up on average $11 000 per year per one half-time telecommuter.
That is a substantial amount and if a company experiences an unchanged (or higher!) level of productivity among the employees, it should consider at least a half-time telecommuting option. That way, certain operations, meetings, and discussions may still occur onsite and the employees will remain certain elements of personal interactions and team building.
Apart from the productivity and collaboration complications or improvements that may occur due to online work, an important factor regards the safety concerns that are connected with working remotely.
Not all companies are prepared in terms of cybersecurity to managing all of their data and processes without the risk of cyber threats. Thus, there are several aspects that need to be considered before each business can take the decision to prolong the home office or move their operations and employees to fully remote work mode.
It definitely is a multi-dimensional decision that will depend on the individual nature of each company. However, while most current research focuses on the management perspective of remote work and the productivity of the employers, the security concerns should be addressed by broader research as for many companies they may constitute the biggest problem.
Considering the large impact and the timeliness of the Covid on working conditions of people around the globe, the research conducted is still in its primary stages. Receiving more conclusive results that can indicate the long-term effects of the covid pandemics will be a lengthy process. However, based on the studies that have been published so far, we can deduce that the relationship between working from home and productivity is complex and is likely largely dependant on factors such as the company, the country, the industry, organizational culture, and the management style.
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