Adobe decided to find out once and for all, whether working from home increased productivity or whether companies need to start bringing workers back to the office.
Even before Covid-19 hit and people were forced to work from home, the world of work was becoming more and more home based. A 2019 report by the International Workplace Group found that almost two-thirds of companies worldwide had a flexible workspace policy. However, since then millions of people have found themselves being forced into the prospect of working from home. Just as lockdown hit London Research and Adobe carried out a survey focusing around opinions on working from home.
One of the key findings, and maybe a surprising one, was that just over a third (36%) said that they felt they were more productive working at home in comparison to only 27% who thought working from home reduced their productivity.
To follow on from these figures, 71% of those surveyed said that they had less distractions at home and therefore were able to concentrate better as well as being more focused.
However, it has to be remembered that the 29% who felt they were struggling working from home, may be those who are also having to home-school the kids, or have lack of space or awful internet….
Less Commuting? Win!!
Who actually enjoys commuting? Surely no one?? A massive 77% of people surveyed said that saving the time spent travelling to and from work was a major advantage of home working, while another fifth (18%) said it was a minor one. The stat which spoke volumes however was that 86% of people felt that home working gave them a better work-life balance overall. How many people are going to struggle when going back into the office?
Teamwork makes the dream work??
The flipside of having more productive workers at home is that teamwork can suffer. 71% of people said that there is less communication whilst working at home and often information that needs to be shared is not.
Alongside this, 63% of those studied stated that they found it difficult to keep track of team progress, therefore leaving team management a tricky task.
Lack of Technology
The only issue with working from home is that the things you use in the office every day, which do not seem to be important usually, actually turn out to be pretty important within your working day. Over half of the people surveyed said that they at least once had a problem with accessing documents. Another 48% of people said that getting documents signed or stamped was an ongoing issue.
Working from home straight away causes the issue of technology at home. Will your company let you take your work computer/laptop home or do you have to use your own personal one? Well….31% of you said that you had inadequate laptops or computers and a massive 59% of you struggled with access to printers and scanners.
Even though people were struggling with technology issues from all areas, 68% of those surveyed did say that they were happy with the IT support they received. So, even if there was an issue, by the sounds of it, it was resolved quickly.
Management? What’s that?
Generally, the consensus is that employers were working with their employees to overcome any issues that presented to those working from home. 84% agreed that their bosses were organising regular online team meetings and 65% said that these meetings were efficient and worthwhile.
However, when it comes to management, people were less impressed. Three-quarters of people said that the biggest health-related challenge of working from home is the lack of human communication but only half agreed they were getting the necessary emotional support to reflect that.
In terms of management itself, only 54% felt that their employers were assessing their performance on output rather than the hours they worked whilst only 20% of those surveyed felt their managers were being clear about the level of productivity they expected.
Work From Home – A Conclusion
Overall I believe the majority of those having to work from home have found it a positive, yet challenging experience. The vast majority have thoroughly enjoyed not having to commute to work and in turn have a better work-life balance. There have been a few teething issues, along with some ongoing ones, but nothing that cannot be addressed and fixed pretty promptly. Maybe those workers who are still working from their home desks now appreciate a little more being in an office with actual humans to talk too rather than a screen – something that will be appreciated more when we are all finally allowed back in the office altogether.
Will everyone go back to working in the office? No I don’t think so – I think many will work from home for the foreseeable and this will benefit both businesses and workers alike. Lets just hope that this will be the last time we will be FORCED into working from home and it will continue to be a choice for the working world.