Who is most productive working from home?

New analysis by PSRC and University of Washington offers insights

Researchers from PSRC and the University of Washington have published an analysis of teleworking productivity in Findings, a journal focused on transportation and urbanism.

PSRC’s Brian H.Y. Lee, PhD, co-authored "Factors Influencing Teleworking Productivity – a Natural Experiment during the COVID-19 Pandemic."

The paper looks at the characteristics of people who report being more productive working from home, based on responses to the UW’s COVID-19 Mobility Survey.

The pandemic has abruptly moved many employees to mandatory teleworking arrangements to protect public health. Teleworking can also help reduce commute trips, manage transportation demand, and improve air quality.

COVID-19 provided a “natural experiment” and opportunity to ask a cross-section of workers about their experiences working from home.

People who reported being more productive working from home tended to be older and did not live with children.

Past commute modes also affected productivity. Those who commuted a long distance by driving alone prior to the pandemic reported being more productive while teleworking. But people who used to walk to work reported being less productive.

People who were more productive while teleworking reported better sleep quality, spending less time on social media, and spending more time on personal hobbies.


For more information, check out our COVID-19 Survey webpage.