It seems to be an obsession among business owners and managers. ‘How can I get my employees to be more productive?’ is the million dollar question (am I right?).
The office holds numerous distractions. From loud colleagues to music, to impromptu meetings and even petty tasks distracting employees from the meaty task at hand.
If you mentioned the words “remote worker” just a decade ago, you probably would have thought – ‘I’m not having any of that, I want my employees right where I can see em’. But now, the terms “digital nomad” and “working from home” are becoming more and more familiar, in fact, they appear to be the future. By 2020, nearly three-quarters of all employees are expected to be remote employees. And Silicon Republic claims that remote working will rival fixed office locations by 2025.
If you aren’t familiar with the astonishing stats, allow us to bring you up to speed and maybe, just maybe, you’ll consider embracing telecommuting and remote work with open arms.
Working from home vs working in an office
Remote vs onsite: Where will your workers be more productive? Prepare yourself for a whole host of remote workers statistics coming your way…
65% of workers think that having a flexible and remote work schedule would increase their productivity, however, only 19% are actually allowed to work remotely by their employees according to this report.
If you’re considering allowing your employees to work remotely, you’re not alone (and if you’re strongly against it, hopefully, this’ll open your mind). Remote work productivity depends on the individual at the end of the day, but a disciplined remote worker may find that they are far more productive in their comfortable space at home.
Here are just a few reasons why working from home may be able to boost the productivity of employees.
CoSo’s cloud survey found that working remotely benefits both employees and employers as it leads to higher efficiency. But why? Off-site employees are motivated to work harder and more efficiently to protect their benefit of working remotely. Perhaps they feel as though they have to prove something for being granted this serious perk. “Workers tend to be happier and less stressed out, and healthier, thereby bringing down the costs of turnover, absenteeism, lower productivity, and other issues.” according to Michael Fitzpatrick, CEO of CoSo.
30% of employees said that telecommuting allowed them to achieve more in less time and 24% said they could accomplish more in about the same amount of time. But don’t take the employees word for it. This is backed up by two-thirds of office managers who reported that employees who work remotely increased their productivity.
Case study: Ctrip’s call center case study
Nicholas Bloom (professor of economics at Stanford University) and James Liang (co-founder of Ctrip) gave employees the opportunity to work from home for a total of nine months – a substantial amount of time which eliminates bias that positive outcomes are a result of trying to prove a point at the initial onset. Some chose to work from home, while others remained in the office. The main reason behind this decision was to save money on office space, but James Liang couldn’t have predicted what this simple move would mean for his company’s productivity.
The results were mind-blowing!
The employees working from home completed 13.5% more calls than the staff in the office itself. Hello higher remote work productivity! This added up to almost an extra workday a week for the company. The home workers also quit at half the rate of those in the office, had far fewer sick days and not surprisingly, the remote workers reported much higher job satisfaction. Not only did the company save on office space but actually increased its revenue.
Stress goes out the window – for the most part
“82% of telecommuters have less stress than their office-worker counterparts” according to a survey from PGi, a leading global provider of collaboration software and services. Why exactly? Our best guess is that perhaps they feel that they have fewer distractions, fewer meetings taking up extra time – who doesn’t have that feeling in a meeting when they’re trying to keep a poker face while stopping their foot from tapping thinking, ‘I have calls to make’ or ‘those reports aren’t gonna write themselves’.
Too much work-related stress isn’t just bad for your physical health but can result in employees having so much to do, they don’t know what to do first. We can all relate to that feeling of having so much work to do that you just ignore it entirely. Next thing you know, the hand on the clock has spun right round a good 3 times and you don’t know where the time went. Now another burst of fear and anxiety pump around your body that either results with working at the sloppy speed of light, or losing motivation entirely.
The fact that remote workers statistics show that they experience less job stress than those working from offices is just another good reason to support remote working options in your office.
Believe it or not, remote workers are often even more communicative and engaged with their co-workers and managers than in-office workers according to a Harvard Business Review. The review found that 87% of remote workers actually feel that they are more connected and it’s mainly down to technology, namely video conferencing. Other technology tools such as Slack allow for easy and open communication – this is something that is used in many offices, including our own here at Become.
Become’s customers and business partners are located in both Australia and the USA. With our headquarters located in Tel Aviv, Slack is the primary means of communication. Without the nifty tool, we’re not sure how we’d have such a good relationship with our partners or be able to provide the business loans that we are able to across the world – good ol’ technology!
If your business is looking to expand but you aren’t sure if funding is the right option for you, make sure to look at this guide to business financing.
Nici is a part-time remote and office worker, here’s her two-cents
Nici Pillemer is a content writer at Become who works part-time in the office and part-time from home. Working from home vs working in an office, what will she choose? Here’s what Nici has to say about the matter:
“I find that when I work from home I actually manage to get more done. Not only can I work extra hours instead of wasting time traveling, but I also find that there are fewer distractions. I get in my work zone and get through tasks quicker than I would in the office. For me, the perfect balance is to work both at home and in the office, because that way you don’t miss out on office relationships, which are so important (plus it can get a little lonely working solo every day, no matter how productive you are)”
Remote workers are more likely to work when sick
Remote workers typically continue to work even while they’re sick. Just another perk if you weren’t already convinced. There’s none of that sneezing and coughing around the office invisible germs flying left-right-and-center. If employees are at home there’s no chance of them infecting other employees and encouraging sickness spread like wildfire. They are also known to return to work more quickly following surgery of medical issue.
Still wary about letting your workers commute? Thought not.