A quarter of workplaces have reported a loss in productivity as employees work from home during COVID-19 lockdowns.
About 3.2 million Australians set up home offices to continue working safely during the coronavirus pandemic.
A study by economics consultant group Alphabeta, created in collaboration with Microsoft, revealed most companies adopted the same amount of new technologies during of lockdown as they had over the past 10 years.
The study found firms that did not adopt these new technologies, which includes home equipment, facilitating new forms of contact and adopting online management practices, suffered the hardest revenue and productivity blows.
About 3.2 million Australians set up home offices to continue working safely during the coronavirus pandemic (stock image)
The report’s author Dr Andrew Charlton said the technological changes made an enormous difference to profitability, but companies that also showed an interest in employees’ welfare also reaped the rewards.
He said companies that saw improvements introduced policies such as flexible working hours, initiatives to increase social connectivity and plans to support physical and mental health.
‘In our experience it is this focus on people plus technology that is a key determinant of success in any digital transformation and this research shows that to be true, even in a pandemic.’
Pictured: A graph that shows the productivity of all industries during the COVID-19 pandemic
About 37 per cent of businesses that introduced new workplace practices saw an increase in productivity, while 26 per cent saw a decrease.
Among firms that did not introduce new workplace practices, only 13 per cent saw their productivity increase, with 25 per cent of firms experiencing a drop.
The study also found that digital collaboration tools, such as video conferencing programs, surged by 54 per cent.
Almost one in seven firms that took on new technologies found them integral to business operations and would continue to use them beyond the pandemic.