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Employees are beginning to trickle back into their offices just in time — after a new study found that remote work reduces productivity.

The study, which surveyed the remote work habits of 10,000 employees at an Asian technology company between April 2019 and August 2020, found a 20 percent decrease in output, according to a recent report.

Although the workers in “Work from home & productivity: evidence from personnel & analytics data on IT professionals”, by Michael Gibbs, Friederike Mengel and Christoph Siemroth seemed to work longer hours, they were not as efficient as they would be in a structured workplace.

The study found that although the workers spent 30 percent more time working from home, their productivity fell as they spent more time in meetings with their bosses to constantly outline their responsibilities.

The academics also pointed out that the staff at the unnamed firm they studied were involved in particularly challenging work that might be better suited to an office environment. Employees in less-skilled occupations, such as making customer calls, might be better suited to remote situations, the study said.

The subjects of the study were highly trained and their work involved “significant cognitive work, developing new software or hardware applications or solutions, collaborating with teams of professionals, working with clients, and engaging in innovation and continuous improvement.”

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