Survey: 49% of remote workers report a drop in productivity

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Distractions at home and difficulty communicating with colleagues during the pandemic contribute to output declines, according to Globant.

During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused companies to make the sudden and drastic shift to remote work, something had to give, and for US employees surveyed by Globant, that something was productivity.

Globant, a digital transformation company, surveyed 900 US senior-manager level and below employees in April and found that nearly half (49%) said they had decreased output, according to its report released this week.

Distractions from the home environment and difficulty communicating with colleagues were the top two contributors to decreased productivity, Globant found.

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4 ways work will change after the COVID-19 pandemic

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The CEO of Skylum notes that we will now understand how things can work when people are purely focused on productivity and communication, and that is going to change everything.

To say the coronavirus has had an impact on the way the world “works” would be an understatement.

In a matter of weeks, we’ve gone from a society that sees remote work as a luxury, or even a “freelancer lifestyle,” to realizing the vast majority of jobs today can be done from home. Companies that hadn’t moved the majority of their assets to the cloud are now doing so at a rapid rate. Video calls have gone from being a suboptimal alternative to a core function of the way we communicate. The list goes on and on—and the impact is here to stay.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve noticed several shifts in our company, Skylum, as more than 100 of us around the world have adjusted to the new rules of society.

Many have never worked from home before, which comes with a unique learning curve. Many have never had the opportunity to connect and collaborate with other employees who work out of offices on different continents—which is now easier since everyone is “remote.” Many have also never viewed their job descriptions through the lens of being quarantined, where tasks left unfinished become more obvious to the rest of the group (in an office setting it’s easier to appear “busy”).

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Goodbye to open office spaces? How experts are rethinking the workplace.

 

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The coronavirus pandemic is exacerbating workers’ worries about returning to jobs in these often debated floor plans.

DISTRACTING, INTRUSIVE, AND now a potential health hazard. The list of grievances against crowded open office floor plans is mounting, and as state officials mull how to safely reopen offices shuttered by the coronavirus, some people are wondering whether the design is on its way out the door.

“Before [the coronavirus outbreak], I requested to move to a corner desk to kind of get away from the coworkers who were more social and talkative,” says Ayla Larick, an employee at a Texas insurance broker. Larick is set to return to her office on May 1, as Texas reopens non-essential businesses, though her asthma puts her at heightened risk for COVID-19 complications, and she’s requested an extension to work remotely.

“I am a little nervous about returning, only because I’m less than six feet away from three other people the entire time I’m working on my computer,” she says.

Most companies are only just beginning to think about how they might change their corporate workspaces, with some experts saying the open floor plan could be redone with better consideration for personal space and stricter cleaning schedules. Others, however, say the pandemic is the final straw for the open office.

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Here’s how long you should take off to feel productive at work again, according to study

According to the website Sleep Judge, the U.S. is one of only a few countries that doesn’t mandate a set number of vacation days.

People are overworked and burnt out, and we seem content to treat this as a fact of life. But it doesn’t have to be.

In fact, the issue that Americans are so overworked — one-third of all American workers haven’t even taken a vacation in over two years — is precisely why we should be making a commitment to take more time off in 2020.

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Robots aren’t coming to steal your job. They’re coming to improve it

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 For many people, the word “automation” conjures up dystopian scenes of humans versus machines. A future in which people set aside our differences to oppose the sleek, metallic products of our own engineering. Few but growth-minded business types get a warm-and-fuzzy feeling of optimism when the word “automation” comes up. And for good reason.

There’s virtually no job that won’t be touched by artificial intelligence (A.I.) and robotics. According to a recent Ball State study, robots and A.I. accounted for around 87 percent of job loss in the United States between 2000 and 2010. PricewaterhouseCoopers recently estimated that 38 percent of American jobs may be at risk by the 2030s. And in 2016, a 55-page report titled from the Executive Office of the President painted a similarly dire picture, warning that millions of workers may be displaced.

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Why the 8-hour workday doesn’t work

 

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The eight-hour workday is an outdated and ineffective approach to work. If you want to be as productive as possible, you need to let go of this relic and find a new approach.

The eight-hour workday was created during the industrial revolution as an effort to cut down on the number of hours of manual labor that workers were forced to endure on the factory floor. This breakthrough was a more humane approach to work 200 years ago, yet it possesses little relevance for us today.

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The crazy unfortunate rise of ‘Vacation Shaming’

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Hope this nice couple isn’t feeling too guilty about taking their vacation.

About a month ago I got a call from a journalist named Leslie Stevens-Huffman wanting to interview me about vacations and management. She’d noticed I’d written on the subject before (“Why America Has Become ‘The No-Vacation Nation'”) and that I’d been critical that large numbers of U.S. employees (47% in one survey) were not using all their vacation time.

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Four-day work week to be made permanent after company finds ‘no downside’

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A four-day work week will be made permanent at a New Zealand company after a trial was so successful it found there was ‘no downside’. Staff reported better productivity, a better work-life balance and lower stress levels after working four eight-hour days a week for two months.

The trial at Perpetual Guardian – a financial services firm that manages trusts, wills and estates – involved almost 250 employees across 16 offices.

Staff reported a better work/life balance, having more energy and improved mental health (Picture: Getty)

They worked four days equalling 32 working hours instead of 40 across the week – but were still paid for five days.

Founder of the Auckland-based company, Andrew Barnes, said there was ‘no downside’ to the new system and that staff reported reaping the benefits of extra downtime.

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Remote workers are outperforming office workers—Here’s why

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Research shows that office workers cannot concentrate at their desks.

Have you seen any of these gimmicky office designs? Candy dispensers in conference rooms. Hammocks and indoor treehouses. Tech companies tend to be the worst offenders with the startup favorites: beer taps and table tennis.

Maybe there is fun for a moment when the candy bar drops — but does all that money spent on gimmicks deliver anything meaningful for the people who work there?

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The future of coworking and why it’s not just for startups and freelancers anymore

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DaVinci Institute, Westminster, Colorado

Would you define your workplace as fun, friendly, inspiring, collaborative, and productive? If not, you may have to ditch your own desk and take a seat at a coworking space near you. Even if you aren’t an entrepreneur or freelancer, the benefits of coworking, according to Deskmag’s annual Global Coworking Survey, are pretty hard to ignore: 71 percent of participants reported a boost in creativity since joining a coworking space, while 62 percent said their standard of work had improved.

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The great decoupling – the impact of machine learning advancement on productivity and jobs

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Machine learning is advancing at exponential rates. Many highly skilled jobs once considered the exclusive domain of humans are increasingly being carried out by computers. That may be good or bad depending on whom you talk to. Technologists and economists tend to split into two camps, the technologists believing that innovation will cure all ills, the economists fretting that productivity gains will further divide the haves from the have-nots.

 

 

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