Work from Home & Productivity: Evidence from Personnel & Analytics Data on IT Professionals

39 Pages Posted: 11 May 2021 Last revised: 23 Nov 2021

See all articles by Michael Gibbs

Michael Gibbs

University of Chicago Booth School of Business; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Friederike Mengel

University of Essex - Department of Economics

Christoph Siemroth

University of Essex - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 19, 2021

Abstract

We study employee productivity (output per hour worked) before and during the working from home [WFH] period of the Covid-19 pandemic, using personnel and analytics data from over 10,000 skilled professionals at a large Asian IT services company. Hours worked increased, including a rise of 18% outside normal business hours. Average output declined slightly and employee productivity fell 8-19%. We then analyze determinants of changes in productivity. An important source is higher communication costs. Time spent on coordination activities and meetings increased, while uninterrupted work hours shrank considerably. Employees networked with fewer individuals and business units, both inside and outside the firm. They received less coaching and 1:1 meetings with supervisors. The findings suggest key issues for firms to address in implementing WFH policies.

Keywords: Collaboration, Covid-19 Pandemic, Productivity, Remote Working, Telecommuting, Working From Home, Work Hours, Work Time

JEL Classification: D2, M5

Suggested Citation

Gibbs, Michael and Mengel, Friederike and Siemroth, Christoph, Work from Home & Productivity: Evidence from Personnel & Analytics Data on IT Professionals (November 19, 2021). University of Chicago, Becker Friedman Institute for Economics Working Paper No. 2021-56, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3843197 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3843197

Michael Gibbs (Contact Author)

University of Chicago Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Friederike Mengel

University of Essex - Department of Economics ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

Christoph Siemroth

University of Essex - Department of Economics ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/csiemroth/

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