Worker productivity during lockdown and working from home: evidence from self-reports

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

October 15, 2020


We examine self-reported productivity of home workers during lockdown using survey data from the UK. On average, workers report being as productive as at the beginning of the year, before the pandemic. However, this average masks substantial differences across sectors, by working from home intensities, and by worker characteristics. Workers in industries and occupations characterized as being suitable for home work according to objective measures report higher productivity on average. Workers who have increased their intensity of working from home substantially report productivity increases, while those who previously always worked from home report productivity declines. Notable groups suffering the worst average declines in productivity include women and those in low-paying jobs. Declines in productivity are strongly associated with declines in mental well-being. Using stated reasons for productivity declines, we provide evidence of a causal effect from productivity to well-being.

Published in

Covid Economics

Volume and page numbers

Volume: 52 , p.118 -151





Referenced by: Laird, J. and Tveter, E. (2021) 'Agglomeration under Covid: final report to Department for Transport'. Inverness: Peak Economics ; Molde, Norway: Møreforsking

Related Publications



Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author


Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society


Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs


Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report


Key research themes and areas of interest