Is Remote Working Buoying Employee Productivity?

Employee productivity is the one metric from which the manager’s eye never turns away. Higher-ups and line managers alike keep an eye out for new tactics that drive these numbers up. The onus is on the top-layer management to come up with bold schemes that hold workforce productivity aloft through tough times for the economy and working capital deficits.

Scaling up employee productivity during uncertain times

In this instance, the business environment is reeling from market forces beyond any single control element following a healthcare emergency. One way to help employees focus back on their job goals is by showing empathy for their private struggles.

An experiment at the turn of the century was first to plant the idea that employee performance peaks when they have slotted time away to handle niggling, sundry tasks at home. They return to their desks with vigor and hack away at their routine without conducting out of mere gratitude and renewed motivation. Two control groups showed 13% and 20% surges in employee productivity.

Armed with this precedent, now is as good a time as any to let employees work at home or from a familiar setting like a favorite, family-run diner/café.

You might also be interested to read: Employee Engagement – Are Your Employees Engaged, Not Engaged, Or Actively Disengaged?

Twitter made headlines for announcing its decision to let its employees work from home indefinitely – meaning coming into the office to put in work wouldn’t be made mandatory even after the COVID-19 crisis is passed.

Change is unpredictable but productivity in the workplace need not suffer

Capping off a decade in which management has had to rethink many workplace productivity measures and policies, corporate India is fully ready to take risks and embrace the idea. Chief happiness officers and Human Asset Managers make it their prime motive to analyze at a granular level how they can make the workdays more conducive to increased business performance.

Employee productivity shoots up when essentials are prioritized and addressed. In the post-COVID economic scenario, this takes the form of an option to work from home for those besieged with responsibilities such as childcare, caring for elderly family members, or running errands on workdays. Nearly every family with children facing remote learning instead of school would benefit from having at least one responsible caregiver working from home on a given day.

Allowing remote working or at least providing the option of working from home is a greater benefit than any monetary consideration, as most employees will agree. In addition to stressful situations, missed days due to minor sickness and traffic congestions become concerns from the past for remote-working employees. 

Employee productivity links closely to perception and accountability

Oftentimes, the importance of employee productivity is enmeshed into the minds of the staff working from home. So much so, that they think of out-of-the-box solutions to work problems and ideate while they are engaged in mundane household chores. The savings from the commute and constant demands on one’s attention from cubicle-mates show up in areas that carry more impact for the individual. Consistent employee performance compounded over time leads to increased business performance.

Of course, a flipside to working from home exists. Sometimes, employee productivity takes a temporary dip when workers don’t feel connected to their team at work. These are the points watchful managers can guard against. Daily check-ins and engagement activities are easy to introduce on virtual consoles and productivity-led digital team rooms. Gamification and Artificial Intelligence can help workers refocus on their goals after informal chats, sharing of milestones, and comparing notes.

This granular, deliberate approach to ameliorating employee productivity via the remote-work model can assist managers to guide employees. They retain satisfaction and participation rigor despite the existential challenges and volatile business cycles.


  • The remote work experiment that upped productivity 13% | BBC Remote Work | Bryan Lufkin | July 2020
  • 5 Tips to Increase Productivity While Working Remotely | SHRM | Roy Maurer | May 2020

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