Work from Home & Productivity: Evidence from Personnel & Analytics Data on IT Professionals
39 Pages Posted: 11 May 2021 Last revised: 23 Nov 2021
Date Written: November 19, 2021
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: Suggested Citation