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Full time remote work reduces collaboration and creativity: Study

The COVID-19 pandemic created a unique opportunity for comparing the work habits and productivity of employees doing their job remotely as compared with in the office. This is because across numerous industries, many people who would not normally work from home, found themselves experimenting with remote work.

A new study of over 61,000 employees of Microsoft has found that working from home caused staff to become communicate less with other departments and outside of their own team, share information mostly by email – having fewer real-time conversations, and spend less time in meetings.

“The work-from-home mandate created a unique opportunity to identify the effects of company-wide remote work on how information workers communicate and collaborate,” said study lead author David Holtz.

This reduction in communication across different departments also cuts down on employees’ ability to acquire and share new information, which study authors suggest could have a negative impact on a company’s ‘productivity and innovation’.

“Having one’s teammates and collaborators in the office at the same time improves communication and information flow for both those in and out of the office,” Holtz said. The study suggests that a hybrid model – with workers being in the office some of the time and working from home the rest would be more productive than full time remote work.

Perhaps this is why more and more companies say that they are adopting these combinations of in-office and remote working schedules as we emerge from the pandemic. This is also the model that many Canadians say that they prefer – enjoying being connected to their teams and workplaces at the same time as having the flexibility to work from home some of the time.

Want to make working from home a part of your next career move? We have hundreds of remote job opportunities available right now. Browse work from home jobs on CareerBeacon.

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