Lessons from Lockdown – Remote Working & Productivity

Remote working productivity

There is a lot of debate around remote working productivity. Some suggest that working from home (WFH) reduces productivity levels. In contrast, quite a lot of research showcases that although everyone is very different regarding focus and efficiency, on average productivity is higher amongst remote and hybrid workers than amongst office workers. 

But, this general narrative of lower productivity levels amongst remote workers does exacerbate worker productivity signalling, including emails and messaging communications, that remote workers feel they need to do in order to showcase they are being productive. 

Working through traditional commute times

There are many reasons why productivity can vary amongst remote workers.

One potential reason for lower productivity comes from working during traditional commute times. Research shows that doing so doesn’t actually increase productivity or output as it is more cognitively draining to work longer hours and more likely to lead to self-distracting behaviour and lower hourly productivity. 

It is instead more productive to either start work at the same time as you would in the office, or break up your day to allow your body and brain time to recover from the energy drain that results from cognitive work. 

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