Not in my experience but YMMV. I can only speak for British Manufacturing and not for any other industry.
WFH not just increase productivity but give a better quality of life to employees.
To some employees. Again, YMMV and it may depend on the industry but all bar-one of the people I know that switched to WFH, who initially loved the concept, are now struggling with spending so much time at home, in front of their laptop. They find it hard to disconnect, which is something hardwired into all of us.
I work in that way since 2015 and I have way more time to produce things to company that I work than when I worked in their offices… my metal and psychological is so much better that I can give faster, better and creative ideias for day work tasks and issues.
I don't disagree that it helps some people and some people prefer to be left alone to do their job. Those kinds of people you can see in offices that are not WFH
It can not be the same to all people… after all we are all different and so there are exceptions but what you said is completely bullshit for most companies and employees.
Not in the sector and country I work in.
Companies that supported WFH have increased both revenue and profit over the years because well it works.
If that were the case, universally speaking, companies would not be bringing workers back to the office.
And of course it didn’t worked well in 1990… the internet and tools where not good enough for WFH.
Moving call centres abroad worked fantastically. It saved companies a shit load of money in training and labour.
The thing is that normally there's oversight. Basically in all companies there's a daily meeting (and/or weekly) to share their personal progress with the team, ask for help in something specific if needed and to set the tasks they'll do the next day/week.
On top of that, they typically use a company laptop which -depending on the case- during office hours -all or during the common ones in case of flexible hours- they're permanently connected to a videochat with the team and in some cases remotely sharing their desktop.
We will have to agree to disagree on this point as it is my experience that the workers do not leave their video chat on and are not required to. This includes NHS backroom support, Customer support and Manufacturing.
Yes, to meet in person at least once or twice helps with this.
When co-ordinated correctly, this works very well. Goals set in person on a monday (for example) to be reviewed on friday, with the rest of the week left to your own devices to complete the tasks.
Stuff that doesn't conform with your worldview is not nonsense. You can disagree with it all you want. It's the same with the 4-day work week.
It's not my worldview, it is my experience and what I do as a job. YMMV and if we are talking about different countries and/or industries then we can't compare experiences.
A 4 day work week works because it in itself is a motivator. Same as 6 hour days. "work harder and you get friday off" is the biggest motivator there is. Once a 4 day work week becomes normal, the results will slowly but surely drop off again. This is human nature.
I have no problem motivating my staff, and there's no literature on that being a problem. Managers unable to motivate their staff are shit managers, in office or not. This is not about me btw.
I agree with the shit managers part. There are way, way too many shit managers who cannot manage their staff.
I moved away from a big city following the move to remote, not the other way around. Even when in the city, I saved 1.5h per day in commute. Instead of living in a shitty 1 bedroom and not even being able to own my own place, I now own a 5 bedroom house in the countryside, while paying less in rent. I have my own office at home, dedicated to my work.
A lot of people fled the cities when WFh became an option. I sold my house in a countryside-ish area (very rural, but close enough to shops with very fast internet) for 80% more than what I paid for it because people fled to that area to have a better quality of life.
Like outsourcing didn't exist when people were in-office? LOL. Outsourcing has been the word of the day in every single sector for over 30 years.
We must have our lines crossed here. Outsourcing has worked and has saved companies a lot of money. But the customer service took a serious hit. No-one enjoys trying to explain a complex situation to a non-english speaking person reading prompts from a card. Those companies (In the UK) that brought their customer services back home, use it as a selling point.
I'd love to see sources for that.
I don't trust sources, only my own experience.
BACKGROUND: With the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations embraced Work From Home (WFH). An important component of transitioning to WFH is the effect on workers, particularly related to their productivity and work experience. OBJECTIVES: The objective of
Funny is that the bosses are the ones with the problem and go against the recent literature
To argue against my own point, as I don't take any study face value, the bosses will want their staff back in the office for more reasons than just productivity. Bad managers, as mentioned above, cover their arses by using office politics and dirty tactics to shift the blame of their own failings onto that of their teams or other teams. Considering it is Microsoft who are cited in that source, I do not doubt for a second that they cannot control their teams, set proper goals or achieve what they need to achieve, regardless if those workers are in or out of the office. Microsoft are completely inept.
Workers with full schedule flexibility report 29% higher productivity and 53% greater ability to focus than workers with no ability to shift their schedule, according to a just-announced report from Future Forum. So why do bosses not trust employees to be productive when working out of the office?
What they think
We will again have to agree to disagree because the reasons those improved figures are seen are not because WFH is more productive in a way of working, but because those workers will work harder (for a time) to keep the benefits of not having to go to work. 80% of the work is done by 20% of the workforce. If 20% want to work from home, they will absolutely do the 80% of the work. This is the same as the 4-day work week.
The Hawthorne effect refers to a phenomenon in which participants alter their behavior as a result of being part of an experiment or study. Learn why this matters.
In the most famous of the experiments, the focus of the study was to determine if increasing or decreasing the amount of light that workers received would have an effect on how productive workers were during their shifts. In the original study, employee productivity seemed to increase due to the changes but then decreased once the experiment was over.
While typing this you have made me consider and question my own stance on WFH, not that I don't believe in what I have seen and experienced, but more along the timescale of which I view WFH. I look at it, and have done since it was announced, as a broader concept of how it has, and will, have a negative impact on the working environment - to reiterate, in the country and fields in which I work, and I will concede that If you and others are looking at the immediate positives of WFH then yes, most of your points are valid.
There has been a short-term increase in productivity for various reasons outside of allowing workers to sit at home. While there are some benefits to some types of people - if we want to use pop-psychology we could cite Myers-Briggs' Introverts vs Extroverts, while other types of people will suffer from the disconnected environment of WFH over the social environment of work. Those positives will not be long-term across the majority of the work force and the disruption between WFH and returning to the office is going to be catastrophic, catalysed by poor managers and management of teams.
Longer term, we will see disruption to some industries on scales we have not seen in generations. Some of these disruptions are already visible in the post-covid, post-WFH, post-lockdown world of the UK, which is seeing Strikes on a level not seen in 40 years, but that's for a different topic.
TL;DR - WFH may, in some industries, in a general sense, offer peaks in productivity, those effects will not be long-lasting and will have a large detrimental effect to the majority of the workforce when they are required to return to the office. Not only that, but allowing the majority of your workforce to WFH places the burden of work on those who wish to continue to WFH and while they may be happy with this arrangement, it opens up the door to lay-offs and company restructuring to move roles abroad to areas with more cost-effective labour.