Remote Workers Average Productivity Loss is 1%

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According to a report by the research company Valoir, the abrupt switch to working from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a drop in labour productivity of only 1 percent. And more than 40 percent of workers would prefer to work full-time from home in the future.

What are the actual effects of remote working on productivity? To better understand the impact of remote working, the research and consulting company Valoir conducted a wide-ranging survey of homeworkers and published its findings in a report published in May 2020. The report's findings included 20 in-depth interviews with the respondents. Valoir offers research and consulting services focusing on People Apps (CRM and HCM), user acceptance and productivity.

Here are the main findings:
  1. Remote working has had only a minor negative impact on productivity - an average reduction of 1 percent. Those who work from home with children reported a slightly larger productivity decline of 2 percent. The largest productivity decline was reported by those working alone (without other adults or children in the household), who recorded an average productivity decline of 3 percent.
  2. The average working day is 9.75 hours, with an average start time of 8:15 and an average end time of 18:00. Most people work during normal working hours, with less than 10 percent starting before 7 a.m. or extending their working day beyond 7 p.m.
  3. The biggest distraction from working at home is social media. Nearly one-third of respondents - even many of those with children - said social media was their biggest distraction, as they spend nearly two hours on it.
  4. Most people believe that their company is doing a good job in supporting distance working. Four out of five employees gave their company an A or B grade, and less than 5 percent gave their company a poor grade.
  5. Job security is the main concern. More than one-third of workers say that worrying about the viability of their company or job security is their main concern - well before the illness of themselves, a family member or a loved one.

Rebecca Wettemann, CEO of Valoir, with more than 20 years of experience in the technology industry, has led the market in her understanding of the value and human impact of cloud computing, CRM, HCM, AI and new technologies. Wettemann is a thought leader with expertise in product development, go-to-market, M&A, marketing and PR and digital transformation strategies. She has in-depth knowledge of cloud, customer relationship management (CRM), human capital management (HCM), analytics, AI technology and strategy. You can follow her on Twitter at @rebeccawetteman.


According to Wettemann and Valoir, a shift to remote work had minimal negative effects - 1% loss - on productivity. A 1% loss in productivity is less than half of 1% of total US GDP. One in five workers reported that their productivity was about the same before the pandemic forced shutdown. According to the survey, the length of an average workday is nearly 10 hours. For those who did not work from home, the transition to working from home took some time, but most respondents were positive about their company's support for the transition. More than 40 percent of workers would prefer to work full-time remotely in the future.


Employees spend 3% of their working day dealing with technology related issues of remote working. This is an important reminder for companies to invest in their digital transformation plans to ensure worker mobility, continuity of work and secure access. With Salesforce, everyone can do business on their smartphones-sales, marketing, customer service, and digital business activities are all supported by AI applications on mobile devices.

According to the report, 12 percent of employees use tools for online collaboration and document sharing such as Slack, Salesforce Quip, and Google Docs, in addition to web and video conferencing tools.


According to Wettemann and Valoir, social media led the list of distractions, with children in second place. 32% of people said they were distracted by social media. Children were a significant distraction, averaging 2.3 hours of their time per day. People cope with these distractions by working almost 10 hours a day.

Here are the main distractions for long distance workers:

Social media - 32%.
Children - 24%.
Other adults - 18%
Other - 16% (for me "Other" stands for our two big dogs and the fridge full of snacks)
Traditional media - 10


Work-related worries were top of the list for a third of workers, higher than worries about illness.

"Clearly, economic insecurity weighs on many individuals and families, and those with jobs that allow them to work at home have a job and a paycheck. But their financial future is also their main concern," Wettemann said.

The top 5 concerns of the remote workers are: 1. Job/Income security (27%), 2. Falling ill (23%),3. Illness of the family or a loved one (22%), 4. A recession (18%) and 5. Viability of the business (55).


According to the report: "Regardless of how long the current situation lasts, it will have a significant impact on what we consider a normal working day for the foreseeable future". The report recommends that workers should do their best to achieve a work-life balance, become more technologically independent and learn to work together more.

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