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July 7, 2020
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Staff productivity drops as employees work from home

A survey conducted by US-based QuickBooks shows approximately 40 per cent of workers say they are working fewer hours per week from home

By CW Correspondent

At least four in every 10 employees working from home due to the coronavirus say their productivity level has reduced.

A survey conducted by US-based QuickBooks shows approximately 40 per cent of workers say they are working fewer hours per week from home.

“Among them, the majority is working between one and 10 fewer hours,” the study revealed.

Dennis Karanja, a HR practitioner who has been working from home since the government directive was introduced says the amount of work he’s had to do has dropped significantly over the past few weeks.

“I used to wake up early put on my laptop try and keep busy but then realised there’s not much work to be done,” he said.

“At first I would keep myself busy for about three hours now its worse its like one hour and then nothing,” he added.

According to the study, only 28 per cent of employees working from home due to the global pandemic said they were putting in more hours while working remotely.

A third of those working more said they were putting in an additional 16 hours per week.

The poll was conducted on April 22 sampling 1,068 employees across the globe shows 57 per cent of staff working from home do not have a dedicated workspace, posing a challenge to productivity.

“28 per cent of workers say they’re working from their living rooms. The rest are split equally between working from their bedrooms, guest bedrooms, or kitchen tables,” the study shows.

The survey shows 55 per cent of workers are struggling with personal distractions throughout the day while another 30 per cent say they just feel burnt out.

The new normal of working from home has seen 29 per cent of respondents experience disruptions to their sleeping patterns.

“My sleeping pattern is now messed up since I am not as active. You get into bed and three hours later your mind is still wondering if tomorrow will be different,” Karanja said.

According to the Capital Markets Authority, the policy on staff working from home could be sustained even after COVID-19, to reduce firms’ operational costs, increase work-life balance, as well as to reduce man-hours spent on the road when commuting.

“This has a likely effect of increasing staff productivity and well-being concurrently, if implemented properly,” CMA said in its quarterly soundness report.

Google’s latest weekly COVID-19 Community Mobility Report shows more Kenyans have been going back to work, registering a 16 per cent increase last week.

The report also found that fewer people used public transport such as buses and trains witnessed a six per cent reduction in movement.

According to QuickBooks, more than 50 per cent of staff say they’ve taken more phone calls and written more emails since they started working from home due to the coronavirus.

“It’s really hard to convince clients over the phone than in person, zoom meetings are the order of the day. From 9am to maybe 3pm,” Communications consultant Kang’ethe Njoroge said.

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