Five trends since rise of remote work

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The argument for remote work can be for or against, depending on where you stand.

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Some find the shift to working away from the office as more productive while those who go into the workplace insist more is accomplished when in-person.

A new study of more than 500 professionals in Canada found productivity trends that have taken place as working from home has become a more permanent concept.

“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.

The people at talent solutions and business consulting firm Robert Half surveyed 500 people who work at companies in Canada with 20 or more employees in industries including finance, technology, marketing, administrative and human resources to learn more about if and how productivity has changed with the increased shift to remote and hybrid work.

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The earlier in the week, the more productive the worker is

Respondents said that Mondays and Tuesdays are the days they get the most done, whether at home or in the office. The results are consistent with a similar survey conducted in 2019, prior to the pandemic.

Before and after lunch are key times

Most professionals are at peak working levels in the late morning (9 a.m. to noon) and early afternoon (1 p.m. to 4 p.m.). Very few people work during their lunch breaks or in the evening.

Meetings get in the way

Those surveyed said the No. 1 thing that impedes their workflow and output is meetings and unnecessary calls at 34%, while 25% said conversations with colleagues cuts into their work time.

Home is where it’s at

Just under half of respondents (42%) reported that they accomplish more at home, while those who commute say they perform best in a private space versus a collaborative environment. Then there are the 23% of workers who say they are equally productive wherever they work.

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Flex work concerns waning

More than two-thirds of employees believe their bosses care less about when and where they work and more about what they contribute to the company.

“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,” King said.

“At the same time, workers need to deliver quality work, meet deadlines and keep lines of communication open with their manager and colleagues to ensure business goals are met.”

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