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

37 Pages Posted: 15 May 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

Christoph Siemroth

University of Essex - Department of Economics

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Abstract

Using personnel and analytics data from over 10,000 skilled professionals at a large Asian IT services company, we compare productivity before and during the work from home [WFH] period of the Covid-19 pandemic. Total hours worked increased by roughly 30%, including a rise of 18% in working after normal business hours. Average output did not significantly change. Therefore, productivity fell by about 20%. Time spent on coordination activities and meetings increased, but uninterrupted work hours shrank considerably. Employees also spent less time networking, and received less coaching and 1:1 meetings with supervisors. These findings suggest that communication and coordination costs increased substantially during WFH, and constituted an important source of the decline in productivity. Employees with children living at home increased hours worked more than those without children at home, and suffered a bigger decline in productivity than those without children.

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. IZA Discussion Paper No. 14336, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3846680

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 ( 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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