Guest editorial: Work from home (WFH), employee productivity and wellbeing: lessons from COVID-19 and future implications

George Saridakis, Yannis Georgellis, Vladlena Benson, Stephen Garcia, Stewart Johnstone, Yanqing Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review


The COVID-19 pandemic has tested the world's resilience and the balance sheets of many governments and organizations (PwC, 2020). As nations emerge from the public health crisis, few would find a silver lining in the aftermath of the pandemic. Economic challenges, supply chain problems and labour shortages continue to plague the global economy. Yet the COVID-19 outbreak forced businesses to rethink their working practices and organizational design, and for many office workers this meant the sudden implementation of remote working from home (WFH) or flexible working. Large enterprises have reported significant benefits of mandated home working, with reports of up to 70% increase in productivity for companies with above $1b revenues (CapGemini, 2020). Such gains are attributed to less commuting time, flexible work schedules, and adoption of effective virtual collaboration tools. But even for small businesses, research shows that effective remote work practices can improve productivity, especially when managers trust remote workers and allow them more autonomy (Parker et al., 2020). However, a continuing debate questions the effectiveness of the unexpected change in working circumstances and enforced WFH, the challenges it can bring, as well as the potential missed opportunities due to the lack of the "watercooler moment". Working from home has challenged the very definition of 'productivity' as the "hours spent on business applications" in the digital economy (Bond-Smith & McCann, 2022).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1757-1765
Number of pages9
JournalInformation Technology and People
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2023


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