Guests on last week’s Radio 4 business programme, The Bottom Line, included an executive from BT and academic from City University. They both agreed that research showed WFH resulted in an increase in productivity. However, workers who normally worked from home before lockdown on average did not get promoted as rapidly as their office based colleagues. Its thought that a lack of informal and formal networking is behind this.
Simon Usborne, writing in the Guardian, reported on a study conducted by a large Chinese firm that measured both productivity and happiness amongst a) a randomly assigned group of workers who were worked from home and b) a group of equivalent colleagues who remained in the office. Productivity on the home group was higher by 13%, but half of these home workers wanted to return to the office, mostly citing loneliness!
Employees of large firms who enjoy working from home may find less freedom in the future. Tech companies have been quick to spot a potential new market for software that measures speed of response to business messages, and application usage, providing managers with live data on homeworking staff activities!