Sorry about returning to the subjects of 4 day working weeks and remote working. But I continue to see claims that both of these increase productivity.

Most of these clams seem to arise from surveys of staff who themselves claim they are more productive working from home.

I am prepared to believe that staff are happier working from home, without the daily commute and I do believe that, in general terms, happier staff are more productive, more engaged staff.

However, I started my productivity career as a humble work study engineer looking at what people were doing in their work role snd trying to improve it.   I soon realised that what we really needed to study was not work but non-work – the waiting time and waste caused by ‘the system’ or the process. People can work hard and productively but still be part of an inefficient system.

I think these happy WFH employees are doing this. Their personal productivity may have risen but the overall system and organisational productivity suffers from the silo working and lack of idea building that results from people locked in their homes instead of sharing information and ideas in the office.

I promise not to return to this topic for a while. It seems to have become a mini-obsession but I don’t like people claiming productivity increases when they are not measuring it.