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      Study says home working has increased employee productivity

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      Thirty-four per cent of companies believe that working from home is having a positive impact on employee productivity, according to new research.

      The Covid-19 UK business barometer, conducted by Sapio Research and B2B agency Skout, reveals that reduced travel times and changing routines have also contributed to employee effectiveness.

      As a result, around one in six organisations also reported that they are embracing ‘the new normal’ by downsizing their businesses operations, significantly reducing expenditure in areas such as recruitment, training materials and premises space. This comes at a cost however, with 35% of businesses investing more into remote working technology, compared to pre-Covid-19 levels.

      Since the spread of the virus, many companies have been forced to offer work from home solutions to ensure business continuity. Some large organisations, such as Twitter, Shopify and Facebook, have already implemented a ‘work from home forever’ scheme across their workforce.

      This change in policy is due to a variety of reasons, including an increase in employee productivity, potential cost-savings, and the reduction of carbon emissions due to less people commuting to offices.

      The research, which was conducted between mid-April and mid-May with a cross industry sample of 500 businesses from SMEs to large enterprises, also shows how home working is also opening up new opportunities for UK businesses. 70% of respondents claim that it has potentially strengthened relationships with clients, supply chains and competitors.

      Over the course of the pandemic, the survey revealed that nearly half of businesses have used financial support from the government, such as the furlough scheme, with a further 26% planning to use it in the near future. And, with part-time furlough now an option, companies will start exercising the different options available to them when returning employees back to work.

      Companies are also embracing change using online alternatives. 24% of respondents have made efforts to maintain their brand presence though activities such as virtual quizzes, 19% have delivered services through online training programmes, and 18% have participated in virtual networking events.

      A full set of findings can be found here.

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      Stuart O'Brien

      All stories by: Stuart O'Brien