Europe's Hybrid Productivity Divide Exposed

New survey from D-Link reveals many home workers are still impacted by poor home technology and working practices

02 října, 2023

As businesses across Europe continue to adapt their hybrid working approach, new insights reveal a clear divide in productivity when working from home and the desire for more office time. The new research from D-Link, a global leader in connecting people, businesses, and cities with networking solutions and technology, found that European workers are clearly split between returning to the office full-time and continuing to work remotely, in research that captures a range of attitudes towards working practices in 2023.

With many companies across Europe increasing their time in the office, four in ten (38%) said they are feeling positive about a full-time return. However, 37% are feeling negative about it, with 24% revealing they would consider changing jobs if their company mandated a full-time return to office working.

Hybrid working productivity disagreements
According to D-Link’s research - which surveyed over 300 technology consultancies and resellers across Europe about business customer habits - there is still significant discussion and varying opinion around productivity. 40% of respondents revealed that working from home for more than two days a week had no impact on their productivity, with one quarter (25%) stating that it actually diminishes productivity. However, one third (35%) believed that it did improve their productivity.

When looking at other challenges caused by hybrid working, 38% said it reduced collaboration, with half of workers (50%) feeling it has led to a fragmented company culture.

Neil Patel, Director of European Marketing and Business Solutions Development for D-Link, commented:
“People are evidently still split between hybrid, remote and office working based on personal preference and circumstance, and there is no one solution that will keep everyone happy.

“The key is to ensure that businesses properly equip their teams to maintain productivity and manage demands, regardless of their chosen working model. This includes investing in security, the right office equipment and effective connectivity for their people, at home or in the office. Investing in the latest technologies, such as Wi-Fi 6E, 5G and fibre to the home can certainly help with providing employers and employees the flexibility and connectivity demands required to enable efficient home working.”

Poor broadband and outdated technology still prevail

52% said that poor broadband still impacts productivity for people when working from home and 45% said poor Wi-Fi around the house was a key challenge. In addition, 45% cited old laptops or tech equipment as a hindrance to productivity, while 17% claimed to receive poor tech support from their employer. 

Despite this, many simple technology changes haven’t yet been made, with just one-quarter (25%) having upgraded their router since the beginning of 2020 and only 17% changing broadband providers to combat connectivity challenges. 

Family interruptions continue to impact professional outputs
Juggling personal and professional tasks in at home posed further challenges for many. 60% said having children at home impacted their productivity, while 47% blamed their partners or other family members, and 29% their flatmates. 

In an effort to alleviate distractions, 27% have started working in a new room and 33% have been stricter with family and flatmates about disrupting them. 

Home desk discomfort still a productivity pain

Whilst 51% also said that a poor desk set up, such as uncomfortable chairs, or sitting at the dining room table, were also leading to decreased productivity, only 16% had bought a new desk and 27% a new chair to combat discomfort.

The opportunities presented by hybrid working should not be ignored, either. A significant 77% admitted that it had led to a better work/life balance, 38% said it improved digital transformation initiatives for their business, and 43% said it had led to more investment in cyber security. In addition to these benefits, 16% said it had led to better team diversity, and 34% said it had improved digital training and upskilling initiatives for staff.

“From a practical perspective, working from home offers a range of benefits,” adds Patel. “Numerous studies have demonstrated that a better work/life balance equates to a happier and more productive workforce. There are also significant time and cost savings in commuting, and in turn, reductions in the carbon footprint of businesses. However, with soaring home energy costs, employees may well be evaluating the benefits of going back to the office.” 


The research was conducted by D-Link between 1st June – 26th 2023, and responded to by business leaders at 315 technology consultancies and resellers across 5 European markets (Spain, France, Germany, UK and Italy).