Lockdown Productivity Scale (LPS)

Many of you are sharing the forced experience of having to work from home at the moment. Some of you may feel anxious about whether your outputs are sufficient and, if you’re a typical Type A-personality, you may have a strong need to feel in control of your environment. The Assessment Toolbox recently developed a simple scale that could be used to measure your productivity and general well-being through-out the lock-down period. It could also be used as a self-assessment to see if you’re ready to work from home on a more permanent basis, and you could even use the test result to open a conversation with your manager to motivate why you should work from home, going forward.

The lockdown experience is tantamount to having to adjust to a major disruption in your life. Major disruptions such as changes in your work schedule and moving to a new house are major contributors to stress, not to mention the anxiety associated with contemplating the impact on your finances and potentially falling ill oneself.  It is therefore clear that the lockdown period requires us to adjust in many ways, not just socially, but also psychologically.

Our Lock-down Productivity Scale (LPS) allows you to assess how well you are coping with this experience.  The adjustments we must make in response to the stress evoked by our experience is called psycho-social adjustment – the psycho-social accommodation of a person to life-altering events or transition.  Our scale focuses on your ability to withstand the pressure on various elements of your life and also assesses the extent to which you are set up from an infrastructure perspective to maintain your productivity levels.

Broadly, we have identified four major areas of focus for the scale – self, others, infrastructure and work.


Unpacking the impact on self in more detail allows us to see that it is important to manage your mood and general energy levels and to ensure that you can find meaning in your day.  Within your direct control is aspects of your day such as what you eat and whether you are taking some form of exercise. Also critical is whether you are able to curb any unnecessary spending.


In your interaction with others, you have less control and the unpredictability of others’ behaviour could create some stress. Here, you may want to consider the fact that most people would have a great many distractions in our homes, from having to take care of children to the ever-present allure offered by Netflix or the most recent Facebook posts by friends.  For the extraverts amongst you, the lack of constant interaction may impact on your ability to maintain focus, whilst some level of guidance or support from your manager may also deflate your commitment to achieving daily outputs.


On a very basic level, a strong fibre line and a dedicated area in which to work are critical to ensure that you can work from home.  Infrastructure and having access to relevant teamwork and communication digital platforms, such as Slack or Teams can further amplify your ability to collaborate with colleagues and stay on top of what needs to be done.


Finally, your own sense of satisfaction with achieving outputs and maintaining an acceptable level of productivity are key to enhancing a feeling of mastery of your situation.  By nurturing a feeling of mastery, you can cope more successfully with the disruption, which would also enable you to return to work in a motivated and happy space.

We have created two versions of the LPS – a basic version, which is available for free on social media, and, a full survey for diagnostic use within organisations.  We have developed a clear diagnostic methodology around the full survey that could be used to assist you in providing the necessary support to your teams.  As a manager, you may be concerned about how people are doing at home during lockdown and this tool will assist greatly in being able to check in with your team and address any concerns, whilst being guided by a scientifically grounded strategy.

If you are interested in exploring the use of the scale with all your staff, we could conduct the full survey with your team to diagnose specific issues that are common for your team and also link these to the solutions we have developed to each address each of the areas outlined in the survey.   We have clear action plans outlined for each of the categories and are able to recommend strategic inputs based on a holistic view of how staff are doing.

Keep a look out for our next instalment which will be focused on assessing your Readiness to Return to work.  Contact us about using the full survey on wea@assessmenttoolbox.co.za




Wea Van Heerden is the co-founder of The Assessment Toolbox. We offer HR consulting services, psychometric assessments and bespoke design competency-based simulation tools. Our approach focuses on a clear understanding of the business context, structure and roles, to deliver the tools that will achieve the best fit for the organisation and its people.