Hi there, Remote Work Tribe! Welcome to another Weekly Roundup, your curated collection of trending threads, relatable tweets, and insightful articles from over the past week. Today, we want to address something that’s been plaguing us long before the pandemic began, and that’s shady stats around remote work productivity and engagement.
Case in point: This recent Business Insider article with the headline, “WeWork’s CEO said people who are most comfortable working from home are the ‘least engaged’ with their job.” How ironic that this message is delivered from the CEO of a company whose entire business model revolves around selling office space. Couldn’t be a coincidence, right?
Well, call us skeptics, but we’re pulling the red flag on this one. And sadly, this is far from the only shady stats we’ve seen about remote work productivity and engagement, especially since the onset of the pandemic.
The Tweet That Started It All:
Our team pours over hundreds, if not thousands, of tweets per week, so you might be wondering what spurred this exact Weekly Roundup topic. The answer is this recent tweet from the Forbes official Twitter account.
Now, if you know Remote Work Tribe, you know we’re pretty big advocates for remote work productivity. In the name of science, we had to check this article out.
It did not disappoint.
According to the Article:
“After conducting research into the activities of the self-quarantined to determine if they were diligently working hard at home or engaged in extracurricular activities. The results were that Americans drank heavily, smoked copious amounts of weed, played video games, ate lots of junk food and watched television, Netflix and porn more than ever before.”
Where to start with this? For one, the grammar in that first sentence is questionable to say the least. But beyond this faux pas, what on earth does this have to do with remote work?! How does this “research” quantify actual remote work productivity?
In short, it doesn’t.
Plenty of organizations do not know how to manage remote work and it shows.— Greg (@DoppelGregor) May 26, 2021
If the work is getting done, people are available when needed, and are sufficiently productive then whatever else they are doing is irrelevant.
Further, you get what you measure. If you track quality of work you will get quality work. If you track time spent sitting at a keyboard you will get that instead.— Greg (@DoppelGregor) May 26, 2021
Shady to Say the Least:
The author admits that the above research into extracurricular activities “doesn’t take into consideration the array of challenges confronted by people.” And by “the array of challenges,” we’re going to assume the author meant an entire global pandemic.
Shocking that people would turn to self-soothing methods, like video games or Netflix, with an ongoing pandemic, right? Not to mention, not once did an increase in substance consumption or sitcom-binging actually correlate with remote work productivity. Instead, the author turned to E-conolight study to prove that point.
Unsurprisingly, the said study was — you guessed it — not reliable.
Hey @Forbes do you do any fact checking on these posts at all? The survey in question seems to be entirely made-up and is hosted on a site that is attempting to SEO hack their lighting fixtures store.— Laurie Voss (@seldo) May 26, 2021
The writer also is not a journalist (not really a surprise these days lol), he runs a job search startup pic.twitter.com/szctkFJ0zS— Mrs. McG (@mrsmcglover) May 26, 2021
Similar to the Business Insider article we referenced above, this article was also spearheaded by an author with something to gain by getting workers out of their homes and into office spaces. If anything, this article solidifies how out of touch many corporations are when it comes to actual remote work productivity and how remote teams operate.
Remote work productivity Facts
So, what’s the real deal with remote work productivity and engagement? According to Global Workplace Analytics, 75% of people are the same or more productive during COVID-19 while working from home. 79% of remote employees cite better focus, and 91% say remote work has allowed for a better work-life balance.
Not to mention, remote workers say they’re happy in their jobs 29% more than on-site workers, and American businesses that support remote work experience 25% lower employee turnover. In terms of remote work productivity and engagement, the stats aren’t nearly as dire as the above articles would make you think.
Unfortunately, a ton of these recent shady stats are being pushed by those who would benefit from remote employees returning back to the office. And considering half of the Remote Work Tribe team are former journalists, we have to simply roll our eyes at the lack of data supporting these articles.
What do you think, Remote Work Tribe — do these recent shady stats make you roll your eyes too? We’re with you. At least we have a week’s worth of vibes to help you crack a smile.
The Tribe’s Weekly Vibes
1. This lesson on why B2B social media marketing is worth the effort.
2. This ultimate thread of must-follow accounts on Twitter.
3. This plea to add context to the numbers you’re sharing.
4. This breakdown of why people *actually* follow brands on social.
5. This reminder that a rebrand doesn’t mean the end of the world.
6. This completely contradictory angle.
7. This Insights update for Reels and Live (SMM rejoice!).
8. This inspiring journey from Director of Marketing to CEO.
9. This wholesome team addition.
10. This roundup of the best remote companies to work for.