- Goldman Sachs found productivity jumped by 3% during the pandemic, especially in jobs that worked remotely.
- Productivity is measured by looking at how much output workers produce per hour on average.
- To be sure, people may have been more productive last year, but they were also burned out.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
If you’re eager to return to the office, this data isn’t for you.
But, if you’re one of the nearly 40% of workers who wants to keep working from home so much that you’d consider quitting your job rather than return to the office, Goldman Sachs has some data that could help your case.
The investment bank found that productivity in the US economy increased just over 3% per hour since the start of the pandemic, largely in industries that adapted to remote work and less travel. That’s more than double the 1.4% per hour growth in the period prior.
Productivity is the measure of goods or services workers produce per hour on average. Many companies have been able to cut costs on things like office rent, furniture and equipment, holiday parties, client events, and work travel. With the continued evolution of business models, including automation and increased worker efficiency, Goldman Sachs expects to see productivity to rise by about 4% by 2022.
Gains were highest in jobs like IT, professional services, and product development that were able to accommodate virtual meetings and did away with in-person costs associated with travel and entertainment. Right now the cost of rental cars, gas, hotels, food, and airfare are all on the rise, making travel, whether for work or pleasure, even more expensive.
While price inflation is likely temporary, the psychological effects of working from home will last much longer. On the positive side, many remote workers are happier, and women and people of color have greater feelings of security and freedom from sexism and racism in the workplace.
To be sure, working from home comes with its own set of problems. At the same time American workers were more productive, they were also more burned out. Part of the World Health Organization’s definition of burnout is diminished performance.
When building your case to work from home and travel less, it could help to cite your mental health and psychological engagement, in addition to what you were able to accomplish over the last year and the money you saved your employer by doing all of that from home.