Some of the more fortunate workers have extra space within their homes to dedicate solely to work, while others are forced to compete with housemates and stake our their workstation inside their homes like the colonizers that came to America.
Finding the right level of comfort during a pandemic and an unconventional working environment has been testing nearly everyone’s stress levels, but the COVID-19 pandemic has also changed the way in which the employee actually works.
No, we’re not talking about how you’ve been become Grandpa Joe from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” sitting in bed all day — it’s about how many American workers’ productivity has changed on an hourly basis.
Earlier in the pandemic, there were reports finding that workers were spending more time on their laptops and working more hours than ever.
This was a worldwide trend as the average workday had increased by almost 40% in the US, or for an extra three hours. That meant Americans were working 11-hour days, which tallied as the largest increase in working hours in the world.
If someone is working more, it would be safe to assume that productivity has increased from pre-Covid times. However, that’s not necessarily true, according to a new report.
Prodoscore, a software designed to help teams be more effective and productive, released data from 30,000 US-based users to look at the productivity of remote works. The report compares productivity levels from May through August during the pandemic to the same timeframe in 2019, when our working lives were mostly in the office.
While productivity saw a dip between May and August this year, with the report finding a 3% drop, there’s been a 5% increase in productivity when comparing the same timeframe to 2019.
Perhaps this could be attribute to workers changing their work hours. At the beginning of the pandemic in March, workers were starting their days at 8:32 a.m., according to the report. Their days typically ended around 5:38 p.m.
Since people started to become acclimated to their surroundings and businesses increased working flexibility, employees pushed their start times nearly an hour later (9:20 a.m.) while ending earlier (5:00 p.m.).
But perhaps the most interesting takeaway from this report is how productivity periods have changed and become smaller during the pandemic. The report notes that workers are most productive between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. currently, while the beginning of the pandemic saw workers crunching their creative juices between 10:30 a.m and 3:00 p.m.
“These deep insights, such as ‘the productivity window’ give organizations the necessary information to implement enterprise strategies for building resilience and social support and prevent burnout and fatigue among their workers.” said Eric Frazer, Psy.D., a member of the Prodoscore Research Council and Consulting Psychologist, Assistant Clinical Professor-Yale University School of Medicine.