Two-thirds of business executives believe that remote work will continue in some form beyond the pandemic, despite a clear divergence in views over employee productivity when working from home, according to a new report from Kyocera Document Solutions.
The report is based on a survey of more than 360 business executives, conducted in May 2021 by The Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Kyocera Document Solutions.
While 39% of survey respondents witnessed an increase in productivity in their organisations since the pandemic forced the adoption of remote work practices, 33% reported a decline in productivity, and the remaining 28% saw no change.
The study found a strong positive correlation between increased productivity and employees’ support for the uptake of digital tools, such as collaboration tools, digital workflow solutions and online project management applications.
Mark Vella, head of marketing and strategy at Kyocera Document Solutions Australasia, said findings support what they have been seeing among their own clients managing the effects of the pandemic on their workplaces.
However, president of Kyocera Document Solutions president Hironori Ando noted that companies had been trying to create more flexible working styles even before the spread of Covid-19.
“Those that have invested heavily in the right tools to enable their employees to work from home are definitely benefiting in terms of productivity gains, business continuity and resilience, and innovation in the current environment,” said Vella.
One in every five executives who witnessed a decrease in productivity in the study said that it was because they had not fully implemented the remote working capabilities needed for their staff to work from home effectively.
The report also said that it is the companies that have adapted quickly and built their capacity for flexibility throughout the pandemic which will benefit most in the future workplace, whatever it looks like.
“Our view is that the future of work is hybrid,” said Vella.