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Can we still be productive during COVID-19 pandemic?

When the COVID-19 pandemic began earlier this year we all felt that in a few months we’ll be back to normal and this will be a productivity proverbial “bump in the road.” As the epidemic turned into a worldwide pandemic and not only our customers, but also our services Partners from around the world were all Working from Home (WFH); we began to be concerned about productivity…. “Could we still be productive while working from home? “

After a several months, and the pandemic looked like it would be around for a long time, we decided to ask our customers' engineering managers to get their direct feedback about the new normal productivity. We wanted to keep the survey simple but give the respondents the ability to make recommendations or feedback if they chose.

Engineers love numbers so we proposed a numeric value to rank our performance on a scale of 1 to 5 (where 1 is Unacceptable, 2 is Fair, 3 is Good, 4 is Excellent and 5 is Outstanding). These were the questions we asked:

  1. Are we meeting your plan goals (Execution) previously set even though we are now WFH?
  2. Are we being in Communication about what we need to be successful as we WFH?
  3. How would you rate our overall Productivity?

Any other comments/feedback?

The averages we got for each or the above questions is shown below:

Excellent to Outstanding performance are impressive results for the attributes we measured.  And we believe our performance will only get better as our WFH processes become the normal rather than the exception. Some of the additional comments we got were:

“Other than the first week where there were some issues around everyone having laptops at home, it seems to be fairly smooth.”

“We appreciate the offshore team acting proactively in a time of crisis, setting up the team to work from home with laptops and IT support.”

“I have not noticed any impact in team performance caused by working from home.“

We will run this survey near the end of this year again, but we are confident that the averages will only get better.

One of the concerns our customers have always had with working with offshore teams is that if the team is far away, they cannot perform as well as they can locally.  That is not what we found!   We did learn that at least a silver lining during the COVID-19 crisis is that:

“Yes we can WFH. Yes, we can be productive!

And yes, we can work from anywhere (WFA)!