When it comes to productivity, workers share more similarities than differences, new research from talent solutions and business consulting firm Robert Half shows. A survey of more than 2,400 professionals in the U.S. reveals five productivity trends that have taken shape since the shift to remote work.
- Productivity peaks early in the week. Employees get the most done on Monday and Tuesday, whether at home or in the office. Results are consistent with a similar survey conducted in 2019, before the rise of remote and hybrid work.
- Professionals have defined power hours. Most workers hit their stride in the late morning (9 a.m. to 12 p.m.) and early afternoon (1 to 4 p.m.), regardless of where they sit. Very few tackle their to-dos during lunch or evening hours.
- Meetings are getting in the way. When asked to share what most impedes their productivity, the top response was unnecessary calls and meetings (35%), followed by conversations with colleagues (25%).
- Home is where it happens. While 1 in 5 professionals (21%) said they’re equally productive wherever they work, 35% reported accomplishing more at home. Those commuting to the office perform best in a private space (43%) versus a collaborative one (16%).
- Concerns about flexible work are waning. Two-thirds of employees (66%) feel their boss cares more about their contributions to the company than when and where they work. Separate research from Robert Half shows 27% of managers don’t mind if their direct reports put in fewer than 40 hours a week, as long as the job gets done.
“Trust and open communication are essential when it comes to flexible work,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half. “Employees need to show they can manage their time by meeting deadlines and being available to collaborate. And in turn, managers need to lead by example and evaluate performance based on achieving business and individual goals.”
McDonald added, “Understanding work habits and preferences — and focusing on results — is key to maximizing productivity. When team members communicate their schedules and are aligned on goals, they’re more effective.”