Wim Gijselaers, Professor in Education at Maastricht University, explains that in many cases, an increase in working from home during lockdown has improved employee job satisfaction and productivity. Gijselaers explains that this enhanced productivity may be attributed to the increased focus that employees have on their role. He suggests that the relative absence of office politics might also be a reason, but that the extent to which this is caused by moving work to a digital setting is not clear.
On a less positive note, Gijselaers warns of the lack of informal communication as a result. ‘Coffee machine interactions’ between colleagues have profound social and economic benefits and are important catalysts for innovation. The absence of those interactions, he explains, will only be to the detriment of the organisation. We need to find a way to integrate the social, human aspect into the emerging digital processes if we are to maximise the benefits.