Employee productivity has increased since the implementation of working from home policies, according to about 30% of the companies responding to the HR Barometer Report, conducted by PwC Romania in October, while 44% say it has remained constant.
Of the respondents who mentioned increased productivity, 76% say that the main factor contributing to that improvement is the increase in time allocated to work due to working remotely.
“The pandemic has shown us that large-scale remote working is achievable and productivity concerns have diminished as companies have addressed issues related to the implementation of the necessary technologies. The last few months have been a test of endurance and an experiment for companies and employees. We can see that, so far, they have passed the tests. Therefore, remote working is expected to be applied by more organizations in the long term. That fact is clear from the survey, as more than half of the respondents have already introduced remote working for an indefinite period”, said Ionuț Simion, Country Managing Partner, PwC Romania.
Only 7% of respondents mentioned a decrease in productivity. Of those, most consider the main causes to be a limited adaptation to the way of working in the “new normal”, a negative mood and a lack of remote working tools.
Three quarters of the responding companies believe that employee involvement has remained constant, but more and more organisations are concerned about their mood as the health situation develops and the related isolation continues for a longer period.
“Well-being is essential for productivity and, as many people are struggling with fear and anxiety during this time, it’s important for organisations to invest more in resources and benefits that help them to create a balance for their health”, says Oana Munteanu, Senior Manager People & Organisation, PwC Romania.
Working from home, the new normal
At the market level, 20% of companies have implemented remote working for all employees, with the other 80% implementing it for some categories of employees. All the respondents have introduced some form of remote working. Almost half (49%) have implemented social-distancing work practices, in shifts of one or two weeks, 29% on the basis of individual options, and 22% other options (permanent or remote working in shifts of two or three days per week).
Digitisation and employees upskilling, accelerated by the pandemic
Two-thirds of the responding companies believe they have accelerated digitisation by achieving in advance the objectives set for the whole year or some unforeseen projects. A similar percentage (68%) note that the need for digitisation was felt most in the Human Resources department, followed by the finance department (63%), IT (56%), operations (54%) and sales (46%). Optimising internal processes is the first priority for 80% of respondents.
In terms of employee competencies, 38% of companies say that employees have a high level of digital competence, 36% a medium level and 26% low.
About the report
PwC Romania HR Barometer study was conducted during 12-17 October 2020 based on information provided by 41 companies from the following sectors: energy, retail / FMCG, pharmaceutical, IT&C, financial services, industry. Of the respondent companies, 17% have over 3,000 employees, 25% have 1,001 – 3,000 employees, 17% have 501 – 1,000 employees, 34% have 101 – 500 employees and 7% have 100 employees or fewer.