For their work, the researchers analyzed two parallel projects in which data was collected from students and people working in the scientific field. They focused on the work and study situations during the corona pandemic.
Working at home in a home office can reduce productivity for some people and may also have other disadvantages, researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology report their current study results, which have now been published in the English-language “Journal of Practice in Higher Education”.
Working from the home office has many advantages, but it can also have some negative effects on productivity. And important agreements seem to suffer from working in a home office.
Effects of the home office on work performance
The data came from 1,600 students and 16 lecturers. The students answered questionnaires, written examination reports and detailed interviews. The lecturers were also interviewed in detail. The preliminary results show great differences in the consequences that the new work and study situations had for individuals and for groups.
Data from more than 1,600 people were evaluated
In addition, the time normally needed to travel to and from work can be used for other things, which in turn can contribute to higher productivity, the team explains.
The arguments in favor of working from a home office include, for example, greater flexibility in organizing work and family life situations, which seems to significantly reduce stress for many people.
For companies, home offices are also a way to save costs, for example by reducing the need for office space, the researchers explain in a press release.
On the other hand, it has already been pointed out that people should not work exclusively in physically separate environments. People need opportunities to meet with people who also work in the company and to experience the support and social cohesion associated with this, the team reports.
Some people found it beneficial to have more peace and flexibility in their daily lives, while others felt more lonely and less motivated because they lacked social and physical contact with other people, the researchers report. Some of the participants also experienced much greater stress in their home office due to the home schooling of their children. This factor is naturally much less relevant in a situation without a pandemic.
Although many participants became more efficient in their new work situation, for example, because they suffered fewer distractions and it was easier to prioritize work, there were also participants who became less effective due to lower motivation and a lack of a day structure.
One of the researchers’ conclusions is that work practices cannot be expected to remain the same when people work in different circumstances. If the conditions around work practices change, this also leads to a change in work practices themselves, explain the experts. This means that not every person becomes more efficient.
WashingtonNewsday Health and Wellness.