UK workers suffer a decline in productivity during lockdown

Forrester's Martin Gill says broadband issues are the primary problem

Employees working from home during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown are suffering from a decline in productivity levels.

That's according to a report conducted by enterprise software company Aternity, titled “The COVID-19 Remote Work Productivity Tracker”, that is on data aggregated from millions of employee devices from over 500 Global 2000 companies.

The study compares the impact of remote work on productivity across different regions around the world. In the UK, which saw a three-fold increase in remote working since the beginning of the year, productivity has declined by 20%, according to the report.

Other European countries, such as Italy, the Netherlands, France, Denmark, and Germany, had suffered an even sharper drop in productivity, ranging from -55% for France and Germany to a staggering -70% for Italy.

In comparison, Belgium, Switzerland, and Sweden had experienced a surge in productivity, with increases ranging from 50% to 85%.

Aternity’s report measured productivity based on hours of work computing time. However, Forrester VP, research director Martin Gill told IT Pro that the drop in productivity levels is likely even higher. 

“Certainly what we have seen with our own organisation is that you often find home workers work longer and more obscure hours - certainly in global companies," he said. "What we're seeing is definitely people who have been moved to WFH are less productive. Absolutely.”

Gill’s report, titled “How UK Employees Feel About COVID-19”, also published today, shows that over a third (36%) of UK workers who have worked from home admitted that they are not as productive at home as they are in the office.

“The primary issue seems to be broadband issues, what I’d categorise as user error, so people not knowing how to switch microphones on, people talking over each other in meetings, people just not used to the whole etiquette of remote working. And then there’s pets and children,” said Gill.

Nevertheless, 52% of respondents said they prefer working from home and Gill warned that “firms used to an office culture may find it hard to lure their employees back to the daily commute” once the lockdown is lifted.

Featured Resources

The complete guide to changing your phone system provider

Optimise your phone system for better business results

Download now

Simplify cluster security at scale

Centralised secrets management across hybrid, multi-cloud environments

Download now

The endpoint as a key element of your security infrastructure

Threats to endpoints in a world of remote working

Download now

2021 state of IT asset management report

The role of IT asset management for maximising technology investments

Download now

Recommended

The IT Pro Podcast: What COVID-19 can teach us about open data
Data & insights

The IT Pro Podcast: What COVID-19 can teach us about open data

30 Oct 2020
The future tech helping battle the pandemic
Technology

The future tech helping battle the pandemic

20 Oct 2020
Transforming training with virtual reality
Careers & training

Transforming training with virtual reality

20 Oct 2020
Salesforce aims to help manage coronavirus vaccine demand
sales & CRM

Salesforce aims to help manage coronavirus vaccine demand

29 Sep 2020

Most Popular

Do smart devices make us less intelligent?
artificial intelligence (AI)

Do smart devices make us less intelligent?

19 Oct 2020
Best MDM solutions 2020
mobile device management (MDM)

Best MDM solutions 2020

21 Oct 2020
What is Neuralink?
Technology

What is Neuralink?

24 Oct 2020