A workplace study from Hibob shows that a majority of employees feel just as productive working from home as they do in a more traditional office setting. While remote work gives workers flexibility, employees' individual productivity directly correlates with their position at the company, living situation, and gender.
"In reviewing this survey data, it has become apparent that companies big and small have the ability to succeed with remote teams, and success starts and ends with giving employees the flexibility and tools they need," says Ronni Zehavi, CEO of Hibob, a provider of HR management software.
In general, 37% of people feel equally as productive from home as in an office setting, and 13% say they feel more productive than in their usual office setting. With only 18% of people reporting that they don't feel at all productive when working from home, it is evident that the worldwide remote work experiment Covid-19 has created can be successful.
However, for those who are living alone, productivity isn't as agile. Forty-seven percent of singles indicate they are not as productive. Those living solo may feel isolated from their friends, family, and peers, giving way to feelings related to anxiety and depression that often have an impact on productivity — especially at work. Collaboration and live interaction are paramount in building a strong employee experience, and these experiences can be replicated with a remote workforce by leveraging tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and culture-oriented features within Hibob's platform bob like Kudos, Shoutouts, and Polls.
It may seem counterintuitive that people with others in their homes are more productive given the presence of distractions, yet Hibob found that 73% of these workers felt productive from home — a finding that was especially pronounced for females.
In this new normal, workers find themselves balancing attending to their families and managing the demands of a full-time job — but for many, this is not a concern. Hibob's survey shows that 87% of employees are comfortable balancing the needs of their families with work, indicating that companies are offering the flexibility workers need.
Women are taking on traditional gender roles and overseeing the majority of childcare responsibilities, even in situations when two parents are working remotely. Instead of pushing women to get burnt out, Hibob found that 51% of working mothers are feeling productive from home and that 68% of the same group feel like they're able to do their job sufficiently from home. Working mothers may be finding themselves carving out specific time to distinguish between work and childcare so they can be dedicated to tasks without distraction. By doing so, working mothers have time to enjoy their children rather than seeing them 10 minutes before school drop off in the morning — a benefit of being at home versus the office.
Across all positions and levels, workers want their action items and responsibilities to be well-defined, especially while working from home. While 53% of employees indicate their tasks and priorities are clear, 34% crave more clarity, and nearly 14% feel as if they have no direction. Higher-level workers are more productive than junior employees: 61% of senior managers felt productive working from home, whereas only 49% of individual contributors felt this way.
A remote setup may give managers control over when they complete their own work and when they are supporting juniors. On the other hand, individual contributors may have more difficulty adjusting to this new autonomy and dealing with queries or projects they aren't equipped to handle independently. With the right support system and training in place, newer employees can develop more autonomy and new skills at this time to make them more powerful and productive workers for the future.
"Even in these trying times, we're seeing that remote work can be a success. Once Covid-19 is contained and remote work becomes an option rather than a mandate, companies can create a successful structure that gives employees flexibility and allows organizations to capitalize on strong talent around the world," Zehavi says.
The national survey was conducted online by Pollfish on behalf of Hibob on April 28, 2020. It includes responses from 1,000 full-time employees ages 18 and up in the United States.