Productivity and working from the office - not as linked as you might think

March 1, 2024
Written by

It’s hard not to have the word productivity pop up when having conversations about remote and hybrid work. It seems, at least among company leaders, to be a constant source of controversy and opinion. People are scared that with remote work comes a decline in productivity—they think that people who work from home are secretly watching Netflix all day, or otherwise twiddling their thumbs. But new research from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco has found that, in reality, remote work and productivity aren’t particularly linked in the first place.

Whereabouts isn’t all that important for productivity

The research found that there is no major change in productivity growth between industries more amenable to remote work compared to those requiring in-person activities since 2020. To put that plainly: there’s no correlation between where you work and how productive you are.

While remote work has certainly changed - and in a lot of cases enhanced - people’s livelihoods, it hasn’t particularly affected the amount of work they get done, or how enthusiastic they feel about their job.

Productivity is changing, but not because of remote work

But if remote work doesn’t affect our productivity, what does? In undertaking their research, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco highlighted that economists have previously implied that productivity decline is historical, not necessarily linked to remote work.

We’re no longer in the industrial revolution. We have developed technology that helps us drastically with our workloads, therefore, it’s only natural that our productivity should decline, too. Gen Z, for example, are less likely to partake in ‘hustle culture’. They are more inclined to do what they’re paid for, rather than going above and beyond. It has little to do with where they work, but more about fair treatment and work-life balance.

So, what does increase employee productivity?

For anyone that’s still hung up on increasing the productivity of their workforce, pushing for a return to the office will likely help very little. What’s more important is to focus on improving company culture.

Companies that have a culture of compassion, learning, transparency and communication are far more likely to produce both great work and loyal teams. Both of these things will help your bottom line in far greater and more lasting ways than simply working from the office. If you want hard workers that stick by you, the best way to do that is the simplest. Treat them well.

At Remotify, we specialize in helping companies to thrive remotely, partnering with companies from all over the globe and helping them to seamlessly transition to having a fully digital workforce. If you’d like to find out more about our services, book a call with a member of our team today!

Spending Too
Much Time

We can help you accelerate
your remote hiring in the
Philippines, excellently.
Let's Remotify
FacebookTwitterLinkedInCopy Link

Ready to thrive in a remote-first work environment?

Outsourcing is not easy but we’re here to help. Contact us today and we’ll get back the same day.
Get started