We performed a pan-Baltic level analysis, evaluating workers’ productivity and well-being while working remotely. Results indicate that around 40% of respondents did not notice any change in their productivity, while a decrease was reported by one-third of respondents. Reasons for productivity losses include lack of cooperation with colleagues and juggling between work and household chores/parenting, as well as missing necessary work equipment. Pandemic may have forced people to telework more than they would have preferred if they had a choice. Social distancing may have depressed the overall spirit – another reason for falling productivity.
Despite all the challenges of teleworking during the pandemic, 15-19% of workers in the Baltics noticed improvements in their work efficiency. The key factors behind this are a better work environment at home, more flexible working hours, and time saving on travel and virtual meetings. Those remote workers who experienced improvements in their work satisfaction, creativity and work-life balance, more often saw their work efficiency rise, and the other way around, suggesting that worker well-being is an important prerequisite for productivity gains.
Most of the factors dampening productivity of teleworking are pandemic-related and will go away, as the pandemic gradually retreats. Schools and kindergartens will reopen. Social distancing requirements will be lifted. In addition, we will be more familiar and more adapted to deal with the peculiarities of telework. In “normal times” remote work can potentially increase the efficiency and flexibility of the labour market and improve work satisfaction, as well as save costs. However, success of the work-from-home approach is not guaranteed without a combined effort from workers, employers, and policymakers.
More results and inaights can be found here:
In 1976 Jean Monet famously said that “Europe will be forged in crises and will be the sum of the solutions adopted for those crises.”
In 2001, Romano Prodi, the then EU commission president, said “I am sure the Euro will oblige us to introduce a new set of economic policy instruments. It is politically impossible to propose that now. But some day there will be a crisis and new instruments will be created”.
EU is in a deep crisis, and not just economic crisis that needs quick medicine. EU leaders’ failure of confront the reality is disappointing. It’s time to brush their differences aside and fix Europe.