The traditional views on employee productivity in the workplace have been challenged by Covid-19. Do we still need the rigid office schedules and working policies that most organisations are governed by? With a large share of the global workforce successfully working from home is it time to rethink the future of work?
Many employees pre-coronavirus were not allowed to work from home but Covid-19 has launched the world’s biggest experiment into remote working. With over half employees now expected to have more flexibility after the pandemic ends, traditional business methods and working practices have evolved. Many feared that that this would result in a decrease in productivity but on the contrary, it appears that productivity has remained stable and some are talking about an output increase. In light of this, will businesses be re-evaluating their working methods? Will remote working be allowed to more employees than was given before?
Organisations will need to be more flexible with their working practices and introduce clear rules and guidelines. Greater working flexibility is here to stay although with this shift to remote working, the importance of face to face communication and workplace relationships need to be emphasised.
How do we measure workplace productivity? For many managers, the old-fashioned method of hours worked was an indicator of productivity. During lock-down, managers realised that the focus must be on the volume of tasks completed, shifting to a results-orientated mindset and achieved goals to be the indicators of success.
There may be a need for organisation to teach new leadership skills to their leaders, moving away from the traditional barometer of how many hours worked. Empathy towards employee’s work-life balance will need to be addressed now that remote working is here to stay.