P126: Discovering Deep Work and a Virtual Productivity Threshold (VPT) Working Remotely in Medical Affairs
CEO & Co-Founder
Amedea Pharma, Inc. United States
There is no published research that has specifically correlated the number of virtual video meetings and duration of breaks between them to employee productivity, thus we studied the impact of virtual meetings and intervals between them on self-reported deep, uninterrupted work and productivity.
Medical Affairs employees who worked =50% of their time remotely across the globe received a first prospective, 1 minute, 10 question online survey at 5 pm for 14 consecutive days including weekends to study if there was a relationship between virtual meetings or breaks between them and deep work.
Spearman correlations and multiple linear regression models were used to study these associations among the 271 responses received. Employees reported the number of virtual meetings, as well as specific duration of break time intervals between them, and their self-reported levels of 1) energy, 2) attention span, 3) deep work, or 4) productivity as primary variables, as well as their sleep quality and exercise as secondary variables. We found a statistically significant, moderate correlation between the self-reported deep work and both number of virtual meetings (R, -0.21, p=0.0004) and break time intervals (R 0.28, p<0.0001) in the primary outcome, as well as strong associations between a range of other variables in secondary outcomes such as sleep or exercise. There were significant correlations between daily virtual meetings and energy (r -0.13489, p=0.0264) as well as productivity (R -0.12504, p=0.0397), but they were of smaller magnitude than for deep work. Interestingly, the strongest secondary correlations with daily virtual meetings were between energy and sleep (0.64916 <.0001, and energy and attention level (R 0.4886<.0001). Respondents were divided between groups with 0-2 virtual meetings per day (n=132) and 3+ virtual meetings per day (n=139), and showed significantly higher rates of deep work in the lower daily virtual meeting group than in the latter. Finally, time intervals of breaks between virtual meetings significantly correlated only with deep work among other variables (R 0.28395, p<0.0001), however, strong statistical associations between deep work and productivity (R 0.29433, p<0.001), energy and productivity (0.53577, p<0.001), as well as between energy and attention levels (R 0.64000, p<0.0001) were observed.
We found a statistically significant, moderate correlation between the self-reported deep work and both number of virtual meetings and break time intervals in the primary outcome, as well as strong associations between a range of other variables in secondary outcomes such as sleep or exercise. The findings warrant larger studies to confirm a specific virtual productivity threshold (VPT) for MA employees working remotely. The implications of the findings may be multifactorial and pertinent to new norms of engagement, vacation policies, business meeting code of conduct or expectations, among others. We believe the study reveals a sufficient need in increasing “deep work” to reassess our workflow in the digital era, employee expectations to work remotely or in person, and advanced analytics to redefine metrics or resources required for particular standards of performance and productivity.