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A survey of businesses shows 64% experienced an increase or no change in productivity levels in early September due to increased homeworking.
The majority of industries showed that productivity was not affected by homeworking as a result of the coronavirus, according to a study from the Office for National Statistics.
The study, taken from a survey in early September, looks across industries and found that of businesses not permanently stopped trading and that had more staff working from home, 64% experienced an increase in or no impact on productivity – 52% experienced no impact on productivity and 12% experienced an increase in productivity in the two weeks after schools returned when parents were getting to grips with the new regime. Twenty-four per cent experienced a decrease in productivity.
The picture was very varied across industries with some, such as accommodation and food services activities, noting a marked increase in productivity while others, such as real estate and manufacturing, noted a sharper decrease. The report does not go into detail about the particular circumstances that affected these figures.
Across all industries, of businesses not permanently stopped trading, 19% said they intended to use increased homeworking as a permanent business model going forward compared with 67% that did not intend to use increased homeworking as a permanent business model going forward.
Of those who planned to increase homeworking in the future, 60% reported it was because of improved staff well-being, 55% reported it was because of reduced overheads and 34% reported it was because of increased productivity.
Of those not intending to increase homeworking permanently, 66% said it was because it was not suitable for their business and 10% reported it was because it had reduced communication.
Another report out this week highlighted the fact that any form of working during coronavirus is not the norm with staff affected by ongoing uncertainty and fears for health and jobs. A survey by tech giant Oracle and HR firm Workplace Intelligence found that the pandemic has significantly increased levels of workplace stress, anxiety and burnout. The poll of more than 12,000 employees, managers and top executives across 11 countries suggests 2020 has been the most stressful year ever for the global workforce, with more than two-thirds of respondents saying they were more stressed at work than ever before.