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Productivity At Work: The Great Divide

As businesses consider what working model is best for them, maintaining a satisfied workforce means listening to what workers want, rather than imposing rigid structures. But it does seem like employees have a different view from their employers on where we do our best work.

Are we more productive in an office?

Of the people we surveyed for our new Talent Index report, 68% said that, to some degree, their employer is concerned that people are less productive when they are not in the office.

Conversely, 73% of employees feel they are more productive, or just as productive, when working from home vs working in an office. The belief that they were more productive working at home was more popular among younger respondents, especially those aged 18 to 34.

People in the UK were most likely to say they were the most productive when working at home – 38% mentioned this, versus 34% from Australia and 31% from the USA.

From an industry perspective, those in energy oil and gas (46%), Financial Services (43%), and IT/Technology (46%) were the most likely to mention that they were more productive in the office.

What is your employer’s view?

When we asked respondents about their employer’s stance on returning to the office, 41% said their employer saw it as essential (43% mentioned this in Australia versus 39% in the UK). Only 8% across the 3 markets claimed there was no urgency from their employer on this front.

When we asked about what employers saw as important when it comes to staff returning back to the office, 45% of respondents selected ‘better communication between staff and colleagues’ while 41% selected ‘improving staff more/teambuilding’ and the same amount said ‘maintaining a positive company culture’. 43% selected ‘staff productivity’.

We do love the office

Overall, we found people are mostly (76% agreed) pleased to be back in the office: 31% said “very happy”; 45% said “quite happy”. People in the US were the happiest (34% said they were very happy to return to the office following the pandemic).

When asked what they thought were the potential threats of a hybrid/remote working model, 36% of the respondents said “decline in working relationships amongst colleagues” and 34% said it was harder to communicate on tasks.

However, a similarly high number (36%) pointed to productivity levels as one of the greatest risks.

Read the full Beamery Talent Index: Fifth Edition report here.