COVID-19 changed many things about our world, but one of the biggest was the way we work. According to a recent study by Stanford University, 42 percent of workers now primarily work from home, and in many cases these work-from-home scenarios are producing better turnaround times and more productivity for companies. The primary motivating factor in these numbers is the type of communication software used by the employer.
Work From Home –A Changing Dynamic
In the past, employers were reluctant to allow employees to work from home, believing that they would spend most of their time disengaged from work and productivity would decline. Actually, the opposite has proven true. In studies conducted comparing work-from-home productivity rates between March to August of 2019 and March to August of 2020, remote work productivity actually increased in the later time span. Since March of 2020, one company that surveyed workers found an increase in productivity by 47 percent compared to previous years.
This study noted that workers are most productive on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday between 10:30 and 3:00 p.m. While the average workday still reflects the 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. schedule, more workers seemed to be utilizing software to stay in touch with each other and with customers during the middle of the day and middle of the week than at any other time.
The work-from-home news is not all positive, however. During the first month of the pandemic in 2020, many companies saw a spike in worker productivity as the work-from-home model became more universal. However, a few months later, productivity had begun to decline. This could be attributed to worker fatigue, but it could also be due to the fact that many workers report missing a certain amount of interaction with co-workers in a face-to-face environment. Loneliness and isolation could lead, in some cases, to lost productivity. Because of this many employers are moving to a hybrid model in which employees come in to the office two or three days a week and work from home the rest of the time.
Setting Workers Up for Success
The Stanford study also noted that only 65 percent of Americans could handle video calls with their current internet provider. With 42 percent of Americans working from home, this could mean that some of them are not fully equipped to deal with the technology demands of work. Furthermore, many workers were not prepared for the switch to different software platforms and grappled with the change in at-home computer use.
Choosing the right type of software and ensuring that workers are trained on it is key for success. Some employers paid a one-time fee to help workers set up their “home offices,” but these types of payments were by no means universal. Employees may struggle with the at-home work model without the right equipment and training to use the software they are expected to utilize.
At Caldiatech, we work with employers to help them choose the right software solutions for their work environments. We can also provide employers with the tools to train their employees so that work-from-home productivity becomes a reality. Give us a call today to learn more.