Five productivity trends in the remote work era

11 July 2022 2 min. read

A recent Robert Half survey of 500 Canadian workers revealed five productivity trends that have taken shape since the widespread shift to remote work.

1) Workers continue to get the most work done on Monday and Tuesday – whether at home or in the office. This is consistent with findings from before the pandemic, which also saw worker productivity flag in the later days of the week.

2) Most workers hit their productive stride in the late morning (9am to 12pm) and early afternoon (1pm to 4pm), even when working remotely. Very few professionals report tackling their to-dos during lunch or the evening.

3) Meetings are a significant barrier to productivity, according to respondents, with 34% identifying unnecessary calls and meetings as the top impediment to productivity.Five productivity trends in the remote work era4) Workers said they get more done at home, but if forced into the office, a private space is preferable. While 23% of workers believe they’re equally productive at the office block or at home, 42% said they accomplish more at home. Those going into the office say they get more done in a private space (42%) compared to a collaborative space (14%).

5) Most employees believe their bosses are fine with remote and flexible work, provided the work gets done. Sixty-seven percent said they believe managers care more about their contribution to the company than where and when the work is done.

"For many professionals, there is a positive correlation between flexible work and increased productivity, and employers and employees both play a role in realizing the benefits," said David King, senior managing director, Robert Half Canada. "When implementing a flexible schedule, managers need to set clear expectations; cultivate a culture that promotes trust and discourages micromanagement; and establish performance metrics based on results."

The human resources consultancy also offered several tips for boosting productivity whether at home or in the office. One important step is implementing a formal time management strategy to structure work. A popular example is the Pomodoro Method, which divides work sessions into 25-minute units with 5-minute breaks in between.

Decreasing interruptions is also important, so turning off mobile devices and signing out of personal email and social media could boost productivity exponentially.

Cutting down on routine meetings that have outgrown their usefulness is another worthwhile pursuit. Avoiding default zoom calls for situations where a text or email will suffice is another way to reduce time-wasting.