Remote working doesn't help productivity

Lazy home worker

Although home workers have spent more hours in front of their computers than before the pandemic, the extra hours haven't translated into increased productivity according to a new study.

The report from digital experience management company Aternity looks at the extent to which remote employee productivity is affected by application performance. It also examines which applications work better in the home compared to the office.

North America continues to have the highest share of remote work, with levels remaining steady at approximately 85 percent. In Europe, where the gradual easing of stay-at-home restrictions started in late April, the level of remote work has declined to 76 percent.

The responsiveness of applications is key to employees being able to do their jobs, so the report looks at the standard measure of the number of seconds waiting for the application per minute of usage for different categories of applications.

SaaS and cloud applications have similar or sometimes better performance for remote workers. However, unsurprisingly client-server applications designed for use on-premises have degraded performance.

There is a marked difference in the performance that can be expected from different types of applications. For example, wait times for compute-intensive CAD and analytics applications consume approximately 10 percent of their total usage time, as compared to around 0.2 percent for collaboration applications. Interestingly the lockdown favorite Zoom has longer wait times than Teams, Skype and Slack.

When looked at by industry, healthcare and legal lead the pack with strong application responsiveness. However, the productivity applications used in education and retail organizations have the worst performance, possibly due to a lower level of investment in new technologies for employees.

Geographically, employees in South America, Africa and India experience the worst application performance with responses taking, on average, twice as long as in Europe.

You can find out more on the Aternity site.

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