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Analysing perceived communication and productivity of different office workers while working fully from home due to COVID-19 restrictions

Juni 2021 | Minou Weijs-Perrée, Rianne Appel-Meulenbroek, Jeroen Looijen, Bartele S. Hoekstra, Pity Jongens-van der Schaaf

Research paper presented at 20th EuroFM research symposium , June 2021. This paper received the "best paper"- award of the symposium.

Background and aim

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people were forced to fully work from home under unique circumstances. Although
working from home has several benefits, there are also many challenges regarding work-related communication, which are expected to have an impact on office worker’s productivity. Therefore, this study is aimed to analyse how office workers perceived work-related communication while working from home during this pandemic, and how this related
to their perceived individual productivity.

Methods / Methodology

The data are collected through a survey which was distributed between April and December 2020 among knowledge workers working at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The descriptive and bivariate analyses are based on data from 22.013 respondents.

Results

The results showed that generally people rate their productivity as positive. In addition, employees are positive about knowledge sharing and contact frequency while working from home. However, employees miss the spontaneous communication and people who are dependent on team work feel less productive, when working fully from home. In addition, people are moderately positive about the ease of communication with colleagues. People with (young) children and people who live alone perceived their productivity lower while working from home.

Practical or social implications

Since COVID-19, working from home has become more popular and is expected to stay more popular after this pandemic. This evoked reconsideration of workplace management strategies by many organisations. Insights in the perception of people regarding workrelated communication while working fully from home, under unique circumstances, could help these organizations to improve communication facilities at home and at the office and eventually optimize work processes.

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Contactpersoon

Bartele Hoekstra

Bartele Hoekstra

Researcher /MSc Management, specialisatie: Implementation and change management; Bachelor of Built Environment