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Has Remote Work Increased Worker Productivity?


A recent survey led by Great Places to Work® revealed surprising results: employees are just as productive, if not more productive, while working from home rather than in the office. Over the span of two years, from the year 2019 to 2020, Great Places to Work® surveyed over 800,000 employees from 715 companies to measure employee productivity. They examined the degree to which employees are “willing to give extra to get the job done,” and “quickly adapt to changes needed for their company’s success,” and compared the results over a six month period from March to August of 2019 and 2020.

Employee Productivity Increased

With over 60% of American employees working from home, the results shocked many employers and leaders. Employee productivity rose significantly during the stay-at-home orders in 2020. In fact,

  • Worker productivity hit a high of 87% in May of 2020, compared to 74% in May of 2019
  • Overall, worker productivity ranged from 76-87% in March-August of 2020, compared to 73-76% during that same period in 2019
  • Company culture and leadership were the two driving influencers behind this increase in employee engagement and productivity

Camaraderie and a positive work environment made employees feel “genuinely loved” at their workplaces. While company perks, such as catered lunches, may have sparked employee productivity during the beginning of the 2020, employees reported that having a “positive atmosphere” is what made their companies great places to work overall. 

[Read More: Mindfulness at Work]

Other unique phrases among productive employees were about leadership –“excellent leadership,” “culture leadership,” and “honest leadership” were among the ways in which productive employees described their leaders’ behaviors during these times of uncertainty. Contrastingly, when productivity decreased, employees responded that their organizations need to “hire leaders” who have experience and prioritize trust.  

With culture and leadership playing such crucial roles in employee productivity, it’s important for leaders to realize not only the culture they’re cultivating, but how they are creating that culture. Are employers leading with care and empathy, and prioritizing their employees’ health and well being?

The Grokker Takeaway 

Covid-19 has given leaders an opportunity to refocus organizational priorities on empathy, care, and trust. Because even though work environments, protocols, and our lives are changing, the basic elements of what employees need to put their best foot forward remain the same: Culture and Leadership. Employees still need to feel valued and cared for in order to do their best work, and employers should be focusing on implementing programs that emphasize connection, practice humanity, and promote positive team culture.

[Read More: Emotional Agility]



Caring For Remote Employees

Many organizations continue to work in remote and hybrid models as the pandemic winds down, but many employees, when given the option to return to work, would actually prefer to continue working remotely. Our new guide, Taking Care of Remote Employees: The Key To Business Success Beyond the Pandemic, gives you actionable steps to ensure that your employees feel supported no matter where they are working. 

Download your guide