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The Pandemic Hasn't Impacted Productivity but Will Impact Future Flexibility

Thursday, August 27, 2020

The COVID-19 outbreak has taught employers many lessons—one of which seems to be that remote work does indeed work. This lesson is so widely applicable that 83 percent of business leaders are saying they will be continuing their flexible work practices even after the pandemic has abated. One of the biggest concerns for many managers across industries is that remote employees would be less productive; however, according to research conducted by Mercer, that simply isn't the case. When asked, nearly all survey respondents of employers—94 percent—said they haven’t seen any negative productivity effects in the switch to remote work. About 67 percent said productivity was the same, and 27 percent said productivity increased during the pandemic. Because of this, 73 percent of respondents said at least a quarter of their workforce will continue to work remotely once the pandemic has ended. The study also anticipates that greater flexibility will be coming not only in terms of where work is performed but when. A large majority of the survey respondents said they are planning to implement more flexibility in working hours such as allowing for more flexible schedules and even compressed workweeks.

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