When it comes to improving productivity for homeworking employees, Occam's Razor applies. Our Working from Home Insights Survey found that half just need a decent chair and table!
Simple ways employers can improve homeworking productivity
In the Skillcast WFH Insights Survey May 2020, 79% of employees, confirmed as working from home all or most of the time, stated that at least one relatively modest adjustment could improve their productivity.
We presented 1,983 employees confirmed as working from home all or most of the time with a selection of adjustments and asked them to pick all that would help them to work more productively at home.
Most of the respondents (79%) picked one or more, and only 19% felt that there there was nothing in particular that would help them work more productively at home. A better table and chair (46%) topped the list of productivity boosters. That seems a whole lot easier for companies to fix than creating a private area at home to work in, which came in at the second spot (32%).
The need for a better chair is also confirmed by the response to another question in this survey, where only 36% of the respondents could confirm that they have a chair that is adjustable and provides back support.
The practicalities of working from home are a particular issue for millennials (under 35's) and those who are new to working from home, as summarised below.
Survey findings: Working from home needs
- Productivity needs: The four top areas to increase productivity when working from home all relate to practical resources:
- Almost half (46%) require a better desk and/ or chair
- A third (32%) need a private area in their home to work in
- A quarter (26%) want better work equipment (e.g. laptop, mobile, printer)
- Over a fifth (22%) require a better/ more stable internet connection
- Communications: The two areas of improvement that are most commonly cited by HR managers and experts when discussing productivity: clearer communication of expectations by my manager (17%) and a formal working-from-home policy (12%) came in lower – perhaps because many companies are already doing well on this front.
- Meetings: Almost as many people chose fewer virtual team meetings (16%) and more virtual coffee shops/office parties (13%). That’s an interesting one for managers to act upon!
- Age: Those who had not worked from home before and millennials (under 35's) were amongst the most likely age group to need practical support. 86% of millennials selected at least one adjustment that would help them to work productively at home, compared with two-thirds (66%) of over 55's.
- IT Issues: Just 6% selected that more IT support would make them more productive, while 22% selected a better/ more stable internet connection. That matches up with the 30% of the respondents who cited Internet, Wi-Fi and IT issues as being challenges in working from home elsewhere in this survey.
- Not needing resources: As reflected amongst those who felt their productivity could be improved if they could make certain adjustments, these results seem to suggest that the older the employee is, the less likely they might be to need better resources at all.
About the Skillcast WFH Insights Survey
Skillcast is the leading provider of compliance e-learning and staff compliance tools to companies in the UK, ranging from FTSE 100 giants to small and mid-sized businesses.
In May 2020, Skillcast commissioned YouGov to undertake the largest study of its kind in Great Britain, based on responses from 1,983 participants qualified as working from home all or most of the time.
This is just a taster of the full survey results. For further insights by the size of firm, the industry sector, region and demographics, email us at email@example.com.
To see more primary research results from our surveys, read our Insights blogs.
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