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‘Is Working From Home More or Less Productive Than The Office?’

Interviews by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

Only if someone was quarantined or a member of their family was quarantined did any of us work at home. I was here every day. I’d say we were more productive because we could connect with people in more ways. The pandemic accelerated trends of working remotely. We have changed and upgraded in our business so more is able to be done remotely than in-person. We did have to do everything by phone for two months. Now we can give people the option to come in and meet with us in person or virtually.”

David Mirabito
Certified financial planner, MassMutual, Fulton

“This isn’t the most straightforward question to answer because it depends entirely on the person and their household situation. One of our agents was working full time from home prior to the pandemic and there has been no interruption in her work. I personally was far more productive at work because I have small children that were schooling from home which added distractions. Two of our other employees who don’t have children worked just fine from home but they both preferred to be in their office workspace. We approached it as a temporary situation as well, so this may have been different if we were planning to work from home going forward and set up workspaces in each of our homes. 

Nate Skinner
Branch manager and licensed agent/broker, H.G. Ellis Agency, Inc., Cazenovia

“We are all back to the office. Personally, I was a lot more productive working at the office than working at home because of my dog. I have 120 pounds of dog at home.”

Karen Dunn
Paralegal, The Steele Law Firm, Oswego

“We kept coming into the office, all throughout the pandemic. “We realized that our employees are most productive when they are happy. And they are most happy when they are in comfortable environments, able to make time for the most important things in their life and have strong systems that allow them to perform at their best. So as long as we hire the right people and give them the right systems, we’ve got some of the happiest employees on the planet.”

John Timmerman
CEO Good Monster and Jaxon Jovie, Syracuse

“My employees have always worked a mixture of home and or office and it is the same either way for us.”

Brenda Weissenberg
Owner Affordable Business Solutions, West Monroe

“I think the productivity was about the same. I still have some at home but not COVID-related. No matter what business you have, you have to remain flexible and be able to withstand the changes like the COVID situation we just went through.” 

Jim Poindexter
President, OVIA Oswego Valley Insurance Agency, Brewerton

“At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices CNY Realty, we feel our agents are more productive at the offices versus working from home. Each agent is considered an independent contractor so they are able to do what works best for them but we find they are more productive being around other agents. Productivity creates more productivity and being present creates a culture of teamwork and collaboration. The office atmosphere brings like-minded agents together to achieve our goal of bringing buyers and sellers together.”

Eric Pedrotti
Associate real estate broker, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices CNY Realty, Oswego and North Syracuse

“Yes, I believe our office staff was more productive during the pandemic. The office closure allowed our staff to focus on projects that needed to be completed for our business’ functionality and efficiency. Our office has been reopened since the first phase of the reopening of New York, but we have allowed some of our staff to continue a hybrid schedule to meet the needs of their families during the ever-changing climate.”

Meredith Hilton
Office manager, Furdi’s Homes, Fulton

“We are more productive in the office where we can see each other and more easily collaborate with one another.” 

Lexi Steril
Legal assistant, Nelson Law Firm, Oswego

“My employees had to make many changes to get used to working from home when the pandemic shut down business. There was major training to learn how to work remotely. Since we have opened back up my agents are way more productive and happier working in the office than when they were forced to work from home.”

William Galloway
Broker/owner, Century 21 Galloway Realty, Oswego

“I think it could go either way. Some days are more productive at home than others. Our agency has everyone back at work.”

Maura Dayton
Multiline representative for Jeremy Chatterton State Farm Insurance, Central Square