September 30, 2020
C-Suite Wednesday – Managing SBA Lenders who are Working from Home
According to a poll conducted during the Coleman Report Live daily show earlier this week, 58% of SBA lenders are still working from home at least half of the time. As a result, their work habits, productivity, and overall career satisfaction may be impacted. Research published by Harvard Business School, says work-from-home employees are working longer hours sending more emails and spending their time in more meetings than ever before.
“There is a general sense that we never stop being in front of Zoom or interacting,” says Raffaella Sadun, professor of Business Administration in the Harvard Business School Strategy Unit. “It’s very taxing, to be honest. Unless you really are able to create distinct boundaries between your life and your work, it’s almost inevitable that we see these blurring lines.”
Researchers heading the study noted a pattern of lower productivity and morale among employees who have combined their bedroom with their office and those who spend more than an hour on camera during meetings. Coleman Report data shows that 34% of SBA lenders do not have a dedicated office space within their home. Nevertheless, nearly 60% of lenders say they feel that they are being more productive when working from home.
In response to the Harvard study, Professor Sadun recommends department managers support work-from-home employees in the following ways:
- Empathize with workers’ unique circumstances. Managers need to know what their employees are juggling to provide the right professional support.
- Focus on output, not hours. It is virtually impossible to track how employees are actually using their time. Instead, managers should focus on the quality of their work.
- Expect wide differences in productivity across employees. While some people will find working from home energizing, many employees probably will not be able to be as effective as they normally are
A full list of the study’s findings as well as additional work-from-home management resources are available on Harvard Business School’s website.