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Five trends since the rise of telecommuting

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The argument for telecommuting can be pro or con, depending on where you stand.

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Some find the transition to working outside the office more productive, while those who go to the workplace insist that more is accomplished in person.

A new study of more than 500 professionals in Canada has identified productivity trends that have occurred as working from home has become a more permanent concept.

“For many professionals, there is a positive correlation between flexible working and increased productivity, and both employers and employees play a role in realizing the benefits,” said David King, Senior Director, Robert Half Canada.

The folks at talent solutions and business consulting firm Robert Half surveyed 500 people who work at companies in Canada with 20 or more employees in industries including finance, technology, marketing, administration and human resources to learn more about whether and as productivity has changed the increased shift to remote and hybrid work.

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The earlier in the week, the more productive the worker

Respondents indicated that Monday and Tuesday are the days when they have the most work, either at home or in the office. The results are consistent with a similar survey conducted in 2019, before the pandemic.

Before and after lunch are key times

Most professionals are at their peak in the late morning (9:00 am to 12:00 pm) and early afternoon (1:00 pm to 4:00 pm). Very few people work during lunch breaks or in the evening.

Meetings get in the way

Those surveyed said the No. 1 thing hindering their workflow and output is meetings and unnecessary calls (34%), while 25% said talking to colleagues cuts into their work time.

Home is where it is

Just under half of respondents (42%) say they get more done at home, while those who commute say they perform better in a private space than in a collaborative environment. Then there are the 23% of workers who say they are just as productive wherever they work.

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Flexible working is about downsizing

More than two-thirds of employees believe their bosses care less about when and where they work and more about what they contribute to the company.

“When implementing flexible scheduling, managers must set clear expectations; cultivate a culture that fosters trust and discourages micromanagement; and establish results-based performance metrics,” King said.

“At the same time, employees need to deliver quality work, meet deadlines and maintain open lines of communication with their manager and colleagues to ensure business goals are met.”

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