At Projective, working from home is proving more efficient

08 June 2020 4 min. read
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It is well known that consultants are used to adapting quickly to new business challenges. A new survey conducted among 300 Projective and Exellys employees has found that the new normal of remote and virtual working during the coronavirus lock-down has proven no different.

The European consulting firm polled its employees based in Belgium, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and France about their experiences working during the Covid-19 lockdown. The results of the questionnaire reveal that many employees feel they have not seen their productivity slump while working from home – and while the firm might have anticipated this outcome; it still came as a welcome realisation to Stefan Dierckx, CEO of the financial services consultancy.

“Because of Covid-19, we all work almost permanently from home,” Dierckx said. “A big change of course, but pre-Corona we already had the habit of working from home a few days every month. We are fortunate that our employees were acquainted with this, and that we have the right infrastructure and resources to be as efficient as usual.”

At Projective, working from home is proving more efficient

When asked how working from home has impacted their efficiency, the majority of the surveyed employees said that they work just as efficiently as in the office. Some even said that their efficiency has gone up, thanks to the leveraging of digital communication tools such as MS Office or Zoom, and collaboration tools such as Slack.

At the same time, not being stuck in traffic during the morning and evening commute has also saved a lot of time, with a quarter of Projective and Exellys consultants and employees having previously lost more than 1.5 hours a day to traffic jams.

Corjan Mol, managing partner of Projective in the Netherlands explained, “Not commuting leads to enormous time savings. Our research shows that three quarters of our employees start working earlier and get more done on a day.”

This higher efficiency yields a ‘triple win’. First, the firm’s consultants can spend more time on issues for their clients, and (provided they are not distracted) can also work focused. Advisors meanwhile feel better both physically and mentally than before. At the same time, many have started exercising, meditating, gardening and cooking healthier, according to Mol.

For Projective, a consultancy that helps financial services institutions with the implementation of complex change programs, this naturally results in higher customer and employee satisfaction.

Of course, there are some examples of productivity suffering due to the different circumstances of home life. Those who have experienced a loss of efficiency mainly concern parents who have young children at home. Piet Impens, a partner at Projective in the Netherlands unpacked, “The younger the children living at home, the greater the loss of efficiency. When the children are older and need less or no care, the effect is opposite and the efficiency increases in cases above the old level.”

Other factors such as IT equipment and the workplace also have an influence. A comfortable workplace is very important to work efficiently, including a second screen or a comfortable office chair.

New normal

According to Dierckx, the findings of the internal survey have reinforced an increasing part of Projective's approach in recent years. The firm’s members were already well practiced in working outside of an office space. “We already believed in a good balance between working from home and working from our offices or those of our customers,” Dierckx remarked.

The survey comes shortly after several think tanks in Europe have advised governments to continue to stimulate working from home, even in the post-corona era. Working from home, online education and the spreading of working and teaching hours can help reduce traffic, improve sustainability and the wellbeing of people.