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39% of businesses increased productivity with remote work during covid restrictions

New report by The Economist Intelligence Unit into productivity and remote work.

  • Printers / Multifunctionals

Hoofddorp, The Netherlands - Two-thirds of business executives believe that remote work will continue in some form beyond the pandemic, despite a clear divergence in views over employee productivity when working from home, according to a new report, Reshaping Productivity, by The Economist Intelligence Unit.

While 39 per cent of survey respondents witnessed an increase in productivity in their organisations since the pandemic forced the adoption of remote work practices, 32.6 per cent reported a decline in productivity, and the remaining 28.5 per cent saw no change.

The global survey of more than 360 business executives was conducted in May 2021 by The Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Kyocera Document Solutions to investigate the implications of remote work on organisations, employees and productivity. In-depth interviews were also conducted with experts in the field from companies such as Google, Mercer and the Human Capital Leadership Institute.

The study found a strong positive correlation between increased productivity and employees’ support for the uptake of digital tools, such as collaboration tools, digital workflow solutions and online project management applications.

“This supports what we’ve been seeing amongst our own clients managing the effects of the pandemic on their workplaces,” said Michelle Wood, Manager of the Customer Experience Centre at Kyocera Document Solutions Europe. Case studies of Kyocera clients and interviews with senior leadership within the global company provide further insight into the report results and the role of digital solutions in driving business growth.

“Even before the spread of covid-19, companies had been trying to create more flexible working styles,” said Hironori Ando, the president of Kyocera Document Solutions. “Those that have invested heavily in the right tools to enable their employees to work from home are definitely benefiting in terms of productivity gains, business continuity and resilience, and innovation in the current environment,” added Mrs Wood.

In fact, one in five executives who witnessed a decrease in productivity in the study said that it was because they hadn’t fully implemented the remote working capabilities needed for their staff to work from home effectively.

The report concludes that it is the companies that have adapted quickly and built their capacity for flexibility throughout the pandemic who will benefit most in the future workplace, whatever it looks like.

“Our view is that the future of work is hybrid, and this report goes a long way to providing businesses with actionable insights to help them make a successful transition to a permanent remote or hybrid work model set-up,” said Mrs Wood.

Discover more insights into remote work productivity and download the full report by visiting the Reshaping Productivity information hub.