The concept of remote work and its impact on employee productivity and motivation has been a topic of discussion for years. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated its adoption worldwide, with businesses and governments across the globe being forced to adopt the remote work model. A 2013 Stanford University study found that employee productivity increased by a staggering 13% when working remotely.
As a result of the pandemic, the global collaboration software market revenues have seen a significant increase, rising from $15.9 billion in 2019 to $19.2 billion in 2021. This trend is expected to continue as digital transformation and remote work become more prevalent.
To better understand the role of remote work in the internal network of employers, Covve conducted a survey in the United States, across 31 states. The survey sample included a diverse audience of participants who are either working entirely remotely or with a hybrid work model. The majority of participants were aged between 25 and 44 years old and worked across different industries including finance, software, healthcare, and information services.
The results of the survey were astounding. 71% of participants claimed that their productivity has improved over the past two years, while only 8% believed that it had deteriorated. This is not surprising as remote work removes the hours of commute and allows employees to be close to their families. Younger participants were more likely to report an improvement in productivity.
Furthermore, 67% of participants believed that their relationships with their colleagues have improved during the last two years. This figure was even higher among younger participants, with 73.8% of respondents between the ages of 25-34 answering positively. These findings align with those of Dan Schwable, Managing Partner of Workplace Intelligence, who highlights that relationships with colleagues, managers, and peers have improved over the past year.
Overall, the results of our study demonstrate that remote work has had a positive impact on employee productivity. While remote work has its benefits, solely relying on it is not sustainable for a healthy and productive work environment. As Professor Robin Dunbar states, 'Humans are social animals, and we thrive on face-to-face interactions.' Hybrid work, which combines remote and in-person elements, is crucial for maintaining a balance between convenience and connection.
As remote work becomes more prevalent, it's important for companies to provide their employees with the necessary tools and methods to communicate and collaborate effectively, to avoid feelings of isolation. Businesses that adapt to this new way of working will be better positioned to remain competitive and productive in the long-term.