How Has COVID-19 Affected Work Productivity?

As nations around the world take steps to protect their populations from the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, it is now clear that this pandemic will have far-reaching public health consequences and severe economic effects. As always, the poor and marginalized, who do not have access to adequate safety nets, are most at risk.

Half of the US currently works from home – and is no less productive. A survey indicates that the coronavirus crisis has forced twice as many workers, as usual, to continue working from home. The measures to protect against coronavirus decided to have far-reaching consequences: more than a third of workers have had to reduce their working hours, and hundreds of thousands have been asked to work their activity from their home. In a short time, COVID-19 has fundamentally changed our working methods.

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The COVID-19 Crisis And Productivity Growth

The world went into the COVID crisis amid a long productivity growth slowdown. Globalization, labor mobility, and small firms may fall victim to the crisis if the world does not succeed in refraining from trade and currency wars, reopening borders, and focusing on policies to boost productivity. The broad adoption of new technologies – such as IT skills during the epidemic – and intense reallocation pressures may provide an independent boost on productivity amid COVID-19.

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After the initial rise of the pandemic declines, productivity will (have to) become yet again a primary concern of economists. There are several reasons why this crisis might further impair productivity growth, including higher transaction costs, lower mobility, and reduced scope of resource reallocation across sectors, firms and countries. There might also be some positive impulses from induced innovation. Either way, the policy will matter, and wise choices could mitigate the productivity-decelerating effects of the crisis and enhance the influence of productivity-accelerating factors.

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Companies Also Have Their Role To Play

As the pandemic forces many employees to work from home, can your organization stay safe yet productive? The coronavirus outbreak has officially been categorized by the World Health Organization as a pandemic, meaning infection is increasing in multiple countries geometrically. The United States of America has declared travel bans on some European countries, many countries have closed schools and universities, and large gatherings of people have been stopped.

How to Be Productive While Working at Home

There are common requirements that all remote workers needed to be more productive amid COVID-19.

  • A computer
  • A good internet connection
  • Chat and conferencing applications
  • A dedicated workspace (preferred)
  • Optionally, a phone
  • Self-motivation and discipline
  • A strict routine

Importantly, companies and organizations also need to prepare themselves and their employees for the increased cybersecurity risks associated with remote working. What are some of the challenges that may need to be addressed?

Despite the mainly positive effects in terms of employee productivity, home telework comes with many challenges—the lack of personal interaction with colleagues and clients as the main disadvantage of telework. Many people experience extreme situations where they have to improvise at their work station and, at the same time, take care of their children.

Technology alone is not the key to success. “The human component should not be overlooked. Companies and their employees need to find ways to organize productive meetings and work effectively as a team, even in a virtual environment.

This post was written by Alba Inc., a career consulting firm based in Vancouver. Alba helps candidates from across Canada find jobs in various cities including Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, Winnipeg, Edmonton, and more. Alba’s deep connections with HR managers and recruiters across many different industries allows them to advise job candidates write better resumes and cover letters, interview better, and ultimately find a job. Contact Alba today to learn more about their 90-day job placement program.



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