‘Remote working not significantly impacting productivity’

A new survey shows only a fifth of employers think remote working during the crisis has had a significant negative impact on productivity.

Employee works from home


Only a fifth of employers report a material negative impact on productivity for those working remotely during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the majority of employers answering a new survey on the impact of the crisis on work.

The survey of nearly 1,000 employers by Willis Towers Watson finds that only 15% of companies say remote working during lockdown has had a material negative impact, with 22% reporting a small negative impact, 22% claiming no impact or a positive impact and one third not sure of the impact.

It also shows that two-thirds of companies surveyed say over 75% of their organisation are working remotely – up from 56% that had less than 10% working remotely prior to COVID-19.

Eighty-five per cent of employers surveyed say their employees working from home have the technology, tools and resources needed to work productively for an extended period of time.

Hazel Rees, GB Leader, Rewards Line of Business at Willis Towers Watson, said: “COVID-19 has had a profound impact on how work gets done and the longer term implications for employers and employees are far reaching. For employers who have found their employees can be just as productive away from the office, it seems increasingly likely that we will see an accelerated shift towards more agile working, with reverberating effects across the economy.”

The survey also found:

  • Almost nine out of ten employers (87 per cent) say they have put in place measures to ensure that people feel supported, from their manager or fellow team members, during the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Almost all (98 per cent) of employers are conducting regular communication to keep all employees updated and engaged and 85 per cent have implemented a virtual or social engagement initiative.
  • Three quarters (83 per cent) of companies said they have no end date planned for flexible working arrangements.

“This is a defining leadership moment for many organisations,” said Rees. “The employers that take strong action to put people first will be the best positioned to enhance employee wellbeing and engagement, restore stability and achieve future business success.”

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