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Revisiting Productivity in Remote Work: What Recent Research Tells Us

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a significant shift in the global workforce, with a sudden surge in remote work. While some industries have grappled with the change, for others, the transition has been effortless. The pandemic has provided a unique opportunity for researchers to investigate the potential of remote work and its impact on productivity.

In this long-form blog, we will delve into the research conducted on remote work and productivity, and gain insights into how businesses can lead their remote teams to success.

The Beginning of Remote Work

Remote work has been around for a long time, but its popularity has skyrocketed in recent years. In the past, remote work was restricted to a few professions, such as freelance writers, graphic designers, and coders. However, with the increase in technological advancements and the need for flexibility in work, remote work has expanded to a variety of industries.

Working from home has several benefits, including reduced stress levels, decreased travel time, and a better work-life balance. However, concerns around productivity remain a significant obstacle for businesses considering remote work. Many managers ponder upon whether remote team members can remain as productive and efficient as they were in the traditional office setting.

So, the question of whether remote work leads to increased productivity or not is yet to be answered satisfactorily by research. Let us explore the recent research on this topic.

Productivity in Remote Work

Remote work has its unique set of benefits and challenges. While it provides flexibility in work schedules and reduces stress levels, it can also lead to distractions and isolation, eventually affecting productivity. Researchers have investigated the factors that affect productivity in remote work extensively in the past decade.

One of the primary factors that affect productivity in remote work is the work environment. A study conducted by Buffer revealed that while 84% of remote workers find working from home to be more comfortable, they also reported a lack of proper workspace, increasing distractions, and difficulty in distinguishing work from home. Lack of proper workspace has been found to affect productivity significantly, which provides an opportunity for managers to provide their employees with ergonomic furniture and other necessary gadgets to improve their productivity.

Another factor that has been found to affect productivity is the communication between team members. Communication is essential to ensure that remote team members are on the same page and to provide them with the support they need. Managers must set clear expectations and provide their teams with the necessary tools to ensure effective communication, such as video conferencing software.

A study conducted by Owl Labs revealed that remote workers tend to work longer hours than their in-office counterparts. Despite working more hours, they tend to report higher job satisfaction and work-life balance. However, excessive work hours can lead to burnout, which can ultimately affect productivity. Managers must ensure that their team members maintain a healthy work-life balance by setting reasonable work hours and providing frequent breaks to prevent burnout.

It is important to note that remote work is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It can be beneficial for some team members, while others may prefer the traditional office setting. However, businesses can maximize productivity in remote work by providing their employees with the necessary tools and support.


Remote work has taken the world by storm, and we are just at the beginning of this trend. Managers must understand the factors that influence productivity and find ways to enhance teamwork among their remote team members. The research conducted on this topic provides significant insights that can be useful for businesses looking to transition to remote work.

Despite the challenges that remote work presents, it provides several benefits, including greater flexibility, reduced stress levels, and increased job satisfaction. The success of remote work ultimately depends on effective communication, proper workspace, and a healthy work-life balance.

As we move forward, it will be interesting to see how remote work evolves and whether the benefits outweigh the challenges. However, businesses that understand and address the factors that affect productivity in remote work are likely to thrive in this new era of work.

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