Brother survey: Businesses, on average, spending $34K in effort to regain productivity

Most New Jersey businesses experienced a loss in productivity during the pandemic — and now, they are spending an average of $34,000 on new technologies to increase it.

That was one of the big takeaways of the “Back to work in a post-pandemic world” survey conducted by Focus NJ and Brother International Corp.

The survey was taken in April.

Dan Waldinger, senior director of B2B marketing for Brother International in Bridgewater, said the survey was conducted to get an understanding of the health of New Jersey businesses statewide, as well as their plans and challenges after the coronavirus pandemic.

“The pandemic has accelerated the evolution of the workplace by forcing businesses to confront and embrace our increasingly mobile, decentralized world,” he said. “Businesses are realizing they must embrace tools needed to enhance collaboration and, subsequently, productivity, amid the so-called ‘hybrid workforce,’ with some employees working remotely and some returning to the office.”

Forty-five percent of respondents reported that some form of their workforce is still operating remotely, while 55% reported that their entire staff is now working in-person. Respondents were mixed on their plans to offer additional remote-work flexibility for workers after the pandemic.

Other key findings of the survey include:

  • Of applicable businesses, the majority (65%) will either allow remote-work options after the pandemic, or are considering it currently;
  • A plurality of respondents (42%) believe it will take longer than a year to break even on revenues lost during the pandemic;
  • 66% reported actively encouraging employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

As for the expenses, the two most common physical office modifications cited by respondents were increased distancing between employee workstations, followed by glass/plexiglass barriers. In total, only 39% expect these changes to be permanent.

Nicole Sandelier, executive director of Focus NJ, said coming back from the pandemic will not be easy.

“The unprecedented nonessential business closures and stay-at-home orders from mid-March to mid-June of 2020, followed by continued operational restrictions, were really a one-two punch that the state’s businesses are still trying to recover from,” she said. “With a continued loosening of restrictions thanks to our tremendous progress against the pandemic, I am hopeful that businesses will be able to recover quickly.”