The productivity impact of COVID-19 hitting organizations to
a high or very high extent has risen exponentially, leaping from
a combined 9% last week to 41% this week according to new data from the
Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp).
The survey found that overall, 96% of the 518 respondents—HR
decision makers from a mix of global, multinational, and U.S.-based
organizations of all sizes—report impact on productivity, a significant
increase from i4cp’s previous survey conducted less than two weeks ago.
A massive 40% this week report that productivity in their
organizations has been affected to at least a moderate degree, nearly
double the percentage from March 6th.
As the situation continues to rapidly unfold, perception of
its implications both directly and indirectly has shifted dramatically; less
than one month ago, 51% of organizations we surveyed reported no COVD-19
related impact to productivity at all—that number has plunged to 2% this week.
As with all things, there is a flip side to this—with frequent
business travelers coming in from off the road for an indeterminate amount of
time, it seems that removing the distraction of travel is helping some to focus
in more effectively on the work at hand.
Kevin Oakes, i4cp’s CEO, notes that while some may be struggling
to get into a rhythm of working from home and dealing with all the stressor and
challenges that entails, productivity is declining. But at the same
time, others are finding their productivity skyrocketing.
Learning thought leader Elliott
Masie agrees, noting on an i4cp COVID-19 response call
today of learning leaders:
“Ironically, some people are more productive now than they have ever been—I’m getting
faster responses to emails now from people who usually don’t respond quickly at
Strategies for maintaining productivity while working from
home are common sense, of course, but the importance of reminding employees of
these simple elements will help to keep them focused and engaged:
- Establish and stick to a daily routine
- Create a workspace separate from the rest of
your living space
- Make full use of the technology and take
advantage of trainings as needed
- Keep lines of communication open with co-workers via consistent use of internal
Download the full survey results – due to the global
health and productivity crisis affecting everyone, i4cp is making all related
ongoing research publicly available.
We also encourage you to visit i4cp.com/coronavirus for
other employer resources including discussion forums, next practices, useful
resources, and more.