Remote workers are here to stay. Chat, video conferences, cloud collaboration software, email and dozens of other technologies now make it possible to work anywhere. Today’s sophisticated technologies offer us more options than ever. You can work from home, a coworking space, a coffee shop, on the beach, you name it!
Modern employees want the option to work remotely. Some 62 percent of people are already taking advantage of flexible working practices and 98 percent say “anywhere working” has a positive impact on productivity.
However, how can we measure productivity? If workers are not in the office, how much time do they actually spend working? Some managers might wince at the thought of their team member lounging in front of the sofa not working, but instead eating poke and watching daytime TV. Rest assured though—the data is in on how productive remote workers can be.
Remote workers are more productive
A two-year long study observed Ctrip, China’s largest travel agency, with 16,000 employees. Since their rent was so high and many employees had to travel far to get to work, it made sense to offer many employees the work-from-home option.
Stanford professor Nicholas Bloom helped design a test at Ctrip to track and compare the performance of remote workers compared to office workers. He found work-from-home employees work a complete full-shift (or more) since they don’t have the to contend with arriving late at the office or leaving early multiple times a week.
The remote workers took shorter breaks, took less time off and had less sick days. They also stayed at the company longer and reported higher overall job satisfaction compared to their office-working counterparts. On the flip side, the company wound up saving an extra $2,000 a month on rent by having fewer office workers. Remote workers are also great for the environment! By having fewer commuters clogging up the roads, this lowers carbon emissions significantly.
Remote workers avoid office distractions
Other workplace distractions (open office plans, breaking workflow for several meetings) means officer workers concentration is down 16 percent since 2008.
“Shared work environments, and in particular hot-desking, are associated with increases in distraction, negative relationships, uncooperative behaviors and distrust,” one study from the Auckland University of Technology found.
Remote workers can focus
Without all the above distractions, remote workers can get into a deep state of concentration. According to a study by the University of California, Irvine, it takes an average of 25 minutes to get back on track after an interruption. By working at home with few to no distractions, workers can set their own schedule to incorporate set hours for work. If you want to get to a yoga class at noon, you can. Being in charge of your schedule leaves employees empowered and incentivized to do more work with their allocated time.
A survey found that 86 percent of workers say that working alone allows them to be more productive and get into a flow of deep concentration. All these technologies are beneficial, but they also have their downfalls.
Watch below about the remote workers’ revolution that is taking place:
All in all, each company has to determine what works best for them and their employees. However, countless studies have proven that as long as the job is one that can be performed from home, most people are more productive when they can work remotely.
We all want to be productive and produce great results at the end of it all, and there are many paths to that end goal. Keep an open mind when it comes to working styles and locations. Make use of technologies to bring your team together despite the geographical or cultural differences. However you get there, focus on your work and get it done effectively. You got this.
“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” — Alexander Graham Bell
What has your experience been working remotely? Do you find you’re more productive, or do you prefer to work at an office?