The productivity benefits of homeworking appear to have increased during the pandemic, with employers now more likely to say that the shift to homeworking has boosted productivity (33%) than they were in June 2020 (28%). This is according to new research by the CIPD, based on a survey of 2,000 employers and in-depth interviews with seven organisations in different sectors.
The survey found employers are also less likely to say that increased homeworking has decreased productivity (23%) compared to last summer (28%), suggesting employers have had a significant net productivity benefit over the period. 38% of employers say productivity has stayed the same (unchanged from June 2020). Overall, more than two thirds (71%) of employers say that the increase in homeworking has either boosted or has made no difference to productivity.
Perceptions of productivity differed between organisations that had offered line manager training in managing remote workers and those that hadn’t. Of those employers who offered such training, 43% said productivity had increased during homeworking, compared to only 29% that hadn’t offered training.
The findings are part of a new CIPD report exploring how organisations can learn from ways of working during the Coronavirus pandemic to make hybrid working (a mixture of working at home and in the workplace) a success. Two-thirds (63%) of employers surveyed report that they plan to introduce or expand the use of hybrid working to some degree, highlighting the need for organisations to take a strategic approach to homeworking to harness its benefits and improve working lives post-pandemic.
Some employers are considering how to improve flexibility of hours, with almost half (48%) saying they plan to expand the use of flexi-time – altering workday start and finish times – to some degree. Fairness was cited as a key reason for this, according to 45% of employers, who said employees who can’t work from home should still be able to benefit from flexible working arrangements.
The report sets out seven strategies to make hybrid working a success: