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Productivity in a Very Difficult Time

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Operational efficiency and productivity are no longer the way to measure how well a manager can manage their team. Remote productivity is especially important to managers, but is also important to employees of businesses around the world. COVID-19 affected productivity in a crazy way, when stay at home orders began and the daily life of an office was dropped on its head. There were big fears that productivity would decrease so much that it would ruin society as we know it, and while that didn’t happen, it is important to look at productivity and how it was affected during the beginning of the pandemic.

Remote Work Has Become The Norm
Remote work has always been around, whether your business utilized it or not. Many businesses were once against the idea, believing that more work would be done in the workplace. Other businesses have always had remote workers and have flourished because of it. Then a pandemic came along, and everything had to change.

At first, businesses were holding off and attempting to carry on business as usual, until government mandates stopped them. Then, their staff began working from home even though there had been very little time to plan. This easily led to security threats, inefficiencies, and other issues.

Working from home with such little notice also made it difficult for worker to stay as focused as they would have liked to. With many workers not having a designated work space in their house, focus was adrift and they felt unprepared. This loss of productivity caused many businesses to close their doors temporarily to wait it out, or permanently.

Remote Work Became Normal
“The new normal” is a saying that has been thrown around often in the past year. Although workers weren’t prepared for the initial change, they have now adjusted and are back to high levels of productivity, even while working from home. This was also affected by up and coming new technology that made working from home easier.

Then Came Winter
Usually, productivity takes a plunge in the winter months anyway. Though, this time around in the winter of 2020, productivity had a massive drop (4.8 percent in Q1 of 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics). This was the most significant drop in 40 years and you may be wondering why exactly it happened now. Here are some of the most cited reasons for this productivity drop:

Stress – 2020 was a year for the books. Along with the pandemic, America saw racial protests, a high-stress presidential election, the Capitol riot, and a rollout of vaccines, just to name a few. Mental health professions are suggesting that U.S. citizens are going to share collective trauma. Stress will now affect productivity more than it ever has because of the emotional turmoil.

Fatigue – Screen fatigue is a thing, and many workers were not used to sitting down at a desk staring at a computer all day. That goes for students as well. Fatigue comes from use of screens, children being home instead of being in school, and so many sources that have made us all so tired and ready for change.

Lack of Incentive – While some people have had time off from work, others haven’t. It is hard to see any reward for doing the work no one else wants to, like being in the frontline of healthcare, working in a restaurant or in retail. For remote workers with children, having to practically home-school your children will obviously mess up your work productivity. Wage growth and financial incentives are very unlikely since most businesses are working hard to even stay afloat.

Remote work won’t go away any time soon. Productivity needs to be at the forefront of every business’ mind and problems that make productivity tank for your employees must be dealt with immediately. If you would like to up your technology game to help with productivity, MyTek is available to help. Call today at 623-312-2440 to find out more.


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