Working from home produced mediocre output – Survey

Working from home output
Poor output is attributed to disruptions at home like children to TV which might take away attention.

Kampala, Uganda | URN | By the time the President Yoweri Museveni directed a lockdown as a move to halt further transmission of COVID-19, Agnes Erios Nantaba, a Public Relations and Marketing Officer with the Insurance Training College formerly the Insurance Institute of Uganda was busy confirming the new brand to the different stakeholders.

She was organizing a number of local and international conferences to popularize the new updates as the Insurance Act of 2017 had required that the institution changes to a public institution under the Ministry of Finance. All this came to a standstill until she like many other Ugandans resolved to work from home.

However, according to the latest survey by the Estate Agency Knight Frank Uganda, this group say their output was only average. In their report dubbed Kampala Market Update HI 2020, the agency says only 35.1 percent of the people that worked from home rated their output as average whereas some 32 per cent said their delivery working from home was good.

Nantaba is one of those that feel that the home experience is not ideal. She says that their general mediocre output could have been due to the fact that non-physical engagements don’t give prompt feedback.

Nantaba said she would from time to time excuse herself from office duties for home chores yet getting her work approved or a simple update from colleagues which would under normal circumstances take a minute took her days.

The survey that was done between April and May 2020 targeted office space users aged between 20 and 50 years reaching about 300 people. According to the findings of the survey, 24 per cent of the respondents said they had very good output, 7.5 per cent ranked their output as excellent and a paltry 15 per cent of those interviewed say the future of the office is diminishing.

Also, 42 per cent said their working from home experience was comfortable while 21 per cent of the respondents felt it was not convenient, 3.1 per cent felt the home experience was not ideal at all and only a quarter of those who worked home rated their output as very good.

But, the report attributes poor output to disruptions at home including constant disruption from children and TV which might take away attention.

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“The days of the office as an integral place to work are far from gone and we can confidently say that working from home will remain an alternative to working from the office,” Knight Frank said. “Likewise, organisations may use working from home as a temporary fall back option to adhere to social distancing guidelines.”

Many organizations have gradually opened their offices in the last two weeks as the government started lifting some of the restrictions that were imposed during the lockdown. But with people uncertain over when coronavirus will end, more companies will likely be forced to ask some of their employees to continue working from home. This will also enable them to observe social distancing rules.

Earlier during a webinar, Judy Rugasira, the Managing Director of Knight Frank said designs for homes might change in future as people adapt to spending more time at home and having to work from there. For instance, people will need much bigger homes, workspace and enough play area for the children. This is the luxury that can be afforded by the very rich though.