Time Doctor’s study of how one BPO transitioned to work from home and the impact on workplace productivity

by Time Doctor
work from home productivity

In an effort to better understand the impact of the pandemic on workplace productivity, Time Doctor teamed up with one of our major outsourcing clients in the Philippines to examine their data and uncover insights.

We compared performance data from the two months prior to the pandemic to the two months following their transition to WFH to discover how remote work impacted agent behavior and affected productivity. 

Some surprising insights followed: 

Agents had significantly less unproductive time when working from home 

Time Doctor’s time-tracking software is able to track and monitor exactly how much time staff spend on unproductive websites and apps. Managers are able to designate which sites are productive, unproductive, or neutral to productivity.

After switching to WFH, the agents at this outsourcing company spent significantly less time on sites and apps deemed unproductive, while productive time remained constant. This data gave the outsourcing company and their clients tangible evidence that agents were just as productive when working remotely. 

Social media use did not increase. Facebook use is an important factor in predicting performance, but there was no significant change in Facebook use when working from home. 

Before comparing before and after data, we used analytics to determine what behaviors were most strongly correlated to performance. Facebook use was the 3rd most significant predictor of performance.

What was surprising was not only that Facebook use saw no significant changes when working from home, but that even the lowest performing agents were using Facebook no more than .57% of their work day.

This gave the outsourcing company the peace of mind that their WFH agents were not spending more time on social media than they were when working in the office.

4 of the 13 most statistically significant indicators of performance were related to keyboard activity and mouse movement. They all remained constant when working from home. 

Keyboard and mouse activity were flagged as a major differentiator between the most productive agents and the least. Not only did Time Doctor give the outsourcing company the ability to continue monitoring those behaviors seamlessly through the transition to WFH, the data record gave them valuable proof of their staffs’ ability to maintain activity levels when working from home.

This was important in addressing client fears of the potential for reduced performance to SLAs. 

Top performers spend more time working on the weekends. WFH enabled agents to work more weekend hours. 

Another hugely significant performance indicator was weekend hours worked. Top performers spent more weekend hours working on average than their counterparts.

After transitioning to remote work, without the need for long commutes to the office in order to work, the number of weekend hours worked saw a statistically significant increase. This demonstrated how the flexibility of remote work made it easier for their agents to accomplish more.

In addition to examining the data gathered by Time Doctor, this outsourcing company kept a close watch on NPS scores throughout their transition. Like many outsourcing companies during this time, they wanted to make sure that quality remained consistent alongside productivity. After six months of working from home, they found that their NPS scores actually increased by 10%.

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