When lockdowns were implemented across the country at the onset of the pandemic, employers and business owners worried that the work-from-home setup will negatively impact productivity. On top of this, they worried that businesses will not survive. Almost a year later, we look into how the pandemic has affected employee performance, taking into consideration several factors.
1. Personal and private workspace
There are several advantages to working from home, and one that is most appreciated by employees is having their own personal, private space. Unlike in offices where employees are assigned a space and desk alongside others, the home provides a more personal space where employees can be more themselves. Let’s face it, some days are more challenging than others and when you’re forced to go to work and put on a happy face, your performance for that day will likely be lower than your daily average. Working from home does not force you to be social when you don’t feel like it, which allows you to focus more on the tasks ahead.
In this regard, productivity likely increased than decreased. However, this situation is only ideal for the single employee with no kids to take care of, which brings us to the second factor…
2. Juggling work and family simultaneously
On the other hand, productivity for employees with kids likely declined because all of a sudden, they had to be parent and employee at the same time, within the same environment. The lines separating work from family vanished thus making it a struggle for employees to focus on their tasks, especially if they also had to become teacher to their temporarily home-schooled kids.
3. Overwhelmed and understaffed
A lot of businesses had to let go some of their employees to reduce overhead costs, which meant that the ones who remained were overwhelmed with tasks, theirs and those from retrenched co-workers. In a nutshell, it was an overwhelmed-and-understaffed situation for most businesses. Now, this kind of situation can affect employees in two different ways: they either rise to the occasion and meet challenges head-on, increasing their productivity in the process; or, they are so overwhelmed that they have the tendency to just slack off, which meant productivity decreased.
Luckily, there are also businesses established specifically to help employees remain productive. Outsourced services like live call answering, order entry, and scheduling can help employees stay on top of their game as services like these take some of the burden off their shoulders.