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Employees Are More Productive During Pandemics, According to a Deloitte Survey

The improvement in productivity has been split down by Deloitte into three measures, all beginning with the letter E: effectiveness, efficiency, and empowerment.

by George Mathews
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Employees are more productive during pandemics

After close analysis, the company determined that three key factors were the main reasons for the rising productivity levels during 2020.

Deloitte produced a study documenting the firm’s findings on work productivity during the COVID-19 pandemic, claiming that there was a “spike in productivity” during the 2020 lockdown period. Employers found it difficult to quantify a worker’s production before to the epidemic, but the pandemic has ushered in a new era of assigning measurable tasks for employees to perform, allowing firms to monitor their workers’ success.

The conclusions of the paper delve into the humanization of work during the epidemic, as hybrid and remote work arrangements have become a necessity rather than a perk provided by businesses. The most important method to do this is to set up a digital workspace with the right tools for getting work done while also being able to multitask.

Like many companies, once Deloitte was forced to go fully remote the leadership team was not sure how the move would affect the productivity of their workforce.

“We felt like it was going to bring our industry to a screeching halt, and creativity and productivity would be stunted. We felt like it would be difficult to hire people if you couldn’t sit across the table from them,” said Paul Silverglate, vice chairman and U.S. technology sector leader at Deloitte. “I think one of the biggest breakthroughs was that flipping a switch and being virtual almost overnight worked. We feel like the pandemic for tech companies was kind of like a time machine that catapulted us tens of years into the future. We were pretty prepared for it from a work perspective, but we all thought you had to be physically together to be successful creatively right up until March of 2020 when you couldn’t anymore.”

Effectiveness, efficiency and empowerment

The improvement in productivity has been split down by Deloitte into three measures, all beginning with the letter E: effectiveness, efficiency, and empowerment. Each of these categories plays an important part in assisting people to succeed in their jobs and finish projects on time.

In this case, effectiveness is determined by focusing on outcomes. Employers must be able to clearly express goals and objectives to their employees so that they can reach those goals or complete objectives by achieving desired results and important elements. At this point, accomplishments and objectives, rather than hours worked or time spent on a task, become the desired outcome.

Employees are given a room to work and the resources they need to do so by the company. Deloitte discovered that collaborative workspaces were not being used to their full potential before to the epidemic, but that when more people were forced to work remotely, those tools became a critical role in assisting workers to succeed. Excessive emails and meetings must be reduced, and doing so will help staff to be more productive with their time..

“I was surprised by the sustainability of the spike in productivity. Commuting is not an efficient use of your time. Sitting in a car in traffic isn’t efficient, but if you can walk to your office and start working it allows you to be more productive,” Silverglate said. “I think now we are seeing very purposeful moments when you want to be working together [in-person], rather than being together just for the sake of it or out of habit. We are now having to reinvent and recreate what things need to happen together live and what can be well done virtually.”

Empowerment was a key component in how work was completed during the epidemic, and there are numerous critical lessons to be gained from how businesses tackled providing staff more authority. As the staff was given more trust, production increased as a result. Due to the integration of work and life rather than keeping them separate, many employees saw their desired work hours branch outside of the usual 9-to-5 structure. Workers are also empowered by digital collaborative workspaces, which allow them to do business from anywhere and give them the power to choose their own hours while also providing them with the resources they need to succeed.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of ESPC Media.

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