Is Remote Working More Productive Than In-Office Work?

Many workers, as well as business owners, have worked from home for years, thanks to tech innovations that make remote work possible. This is standard for a growing number of Americans. Amid the latest outbreak of COVID-19, most businesses and their employees are being forced to follow suit, posing the question: Is this working arrangement productive? 

Fortunately, the work-from-home technologies of today are much more complex than just having conversations over the phone. We have access to email, chat, video conferencing, cloud collaboration tools, and hundreds of other innovations that now make it possible to complete and remotely perform almost any office work.

But the question remains: Is it more efficient to work from home than in an office?

Remote employees will automatically say “yes” while conventional bosses are much more likely to say no. What is the truth, then?

A 2019 survey by Airtasker says yes, remote working is more effective than working in an office. 

Researchers across the U.S. interviewed 1,004 full-time workers about their productivity, commutes, and other aspects of their lives.  Of the respondents, 505 people were working remotely. According to the results of the study, working from home not only helps workers by reducing their daily commutes, but the study also found that it improves productivity and contributes to healthier lifestyles. So, it's a win-win situation that workers love for its versatility and work-life balance.

  • Remote workers work 1.4 more days a month than their office-based counterparts, resulting in more than three extra working weeks a year. 
  • 29% of remote workers said they were struggling with work-life balance and 31% said they wanted a day off for their mental health.
  • Taking breaks during the day is one of the most important ways workers can remain productive. One such tool for workers to decompress for a moment and come back relaxed and ready to work is the Pomodoro Technique.

How to Be Productive While Working from Home?

It would be surprising for workers to see a decline in efficiency with all the modern comforts of home beckoning for our attention, but the opposite is true. According to the Airtasker report, telecommuters "worked 1.4 more days a month, or 16.8 more days a year," relative to people employed in an office.

However, researchers also found that working from home brings its own stresses too. Approximately 29% of telecommuting respondents said they had a hard time maintaining a healthy work-life balance; 23% of office workers reported the same struggle.

Additionally, approximately half of  both remote and in-office workers said they felt "over-stressed during the working day." 45% of remote workers and 42% of office workers "experienced high rates of anxiety during the working day," and 37% of remote workers and 35% of office workers said they "procrastinated on a job before its deadline."

In short, employees who work from home likely work more hours but no matter where you work from, stress is a factor. With the right tools, working from home can be made much easier. In a previous blog, we discussed tools to help your team stay focused and efficient during this work-from-home phase while combating stress and maintaining work-life balance. 

How Has Work From Home Created a Win-Win Situation?

One of the biggest advantages workers reap from working remotely is that they don't have to commute anymore. According to the Airtasker report, commuting has led at least 1 in 4 respondents to leave a job. Indeed, several employees said they were willing to give up a lot of things in order to end their commute.

The regular American commute now is almost 30 minutes. Too much time on the road means too many employees spend more money on car fuel, not to mention maintenance and repair costs because of the wear and tear on their cars. The average remote worker has saved more than $4,500 on annual fuel costs according to researchers. The absence of a routine commute has resulted in a modest decrease in operating costs for businesses as well.

In addition to cost savings, respondents said they found that they had more free time because they had cut their commutes. Employees said the result was an additional 17 days of free time, on average.

Most of the recovered time has gone to developing better training patterns. According to researchers, remote workers spent 2 hours and 44 minutes per week performing physical exercise, a 25-minute increase over office workers. 

In addition, sickness can rapidly spread among coworkers who share the same office space. Usually, workplaces are crowded with people working near each other and exchanging germs without even knowing it. 

Many states have provided stay-at-home orders with the spread of coronavirus, and several businesses have forced workers to operate from home to flatten the pandemic's curve. The same practice could mitigate the spread of the common cold as well.

Measure the Prodoscore of Your Remote Employees

Above all, visibility into productivity is one of the most critical areas of focus for management. But, how do you know what members of the team are up to when they operate remotely?

Well, Prodoscore is the best performance-evaluation tool, and  provides access to your remote workforce's daily operations, so you feel informed and can develop trust.

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