Find out how professionals manage to get more done on flexible work arrangements, not in an office setting.
Performance can increase up to 13 percent by working from home
A study by Standford of 16,000 workers over 9 months found that working from home increase productivity by 13%. This increase in performance was due to more calls per minute attributed to a quieter more convenient working environment and working more minutes per shift because of fewer breaks and sick days.
In this same study workers also reported improved work satisfaction, and attrition rates were cut by 50%.
Working Remotely Can Increase Productivity up to 77%
77% of those who work remotely at least a few times per month show increased productivity, with 30% doing more work in less time and 24% doing more work in the same period of time according to a survey by ConnectSolutions.
Letting employees work from home has been the fear of plenty of companies because they believe they will be less productive. This isn’t entirely wrong. At home, it’s easy to get distracted, procrastinate, or put in less work than those working in the office.
In 2019, a study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 24% of people that were employed did some or all of their work at home on days they worked, and 82% of people that were employed did some or all of their work at their workplace
The same study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics also found that workers employed in financial operations, business, and management occupations (37%) and workers employed in professional and related occupations (33%) were more likely than those employed in other occupations to do some or all of their work from home on days they worked.
A study conducted in 2012 shows those office workers who were assigned boring tasks performed better and faster in the regular office setting. Home-life distractions are more likely to prevent productive work when you don’t enjoy the work.
But this study found more productive results when the work was more creative. In short, the fewer restraints put on a task, the quicker it will be completed.
The same study also shows an entire “office” will underperform if they each work from home. Each individual will put in the same amount of work as the next. Meaning, no individual wants to put in more work and let the others ride their coattails.
Another more recent study states that the more hours an individual works from home, the less productive they become. Those who worked full time (8 hours/day) at home are 70% less productive than those who don’t work from home.
A bit has changed since 2012. Working from home has gotten easier and communication software is getting better.
Reports from surveys taken in the past couple of months show working from home is producing a better turnaround on projects, and increasing productivity.
Great Place to Work compared employee productivity from March to August of 2020, the first six months of stay-at-home orders, to the same six-month stretch in 2019. Remote work productivity was stable or increased when working remotely from home, according to a 2-year study of 800,000 employees.
Prodoscore reports an increase in productivity by 47% since March of 2020 (compared to March and April 2019), and have deciphered when people are the most productive.
A survey from March this 2020 by Airtasker shows work from home employees spent less time avoiding work (15% difference), spent 1.4 more days working each month, and took more breaks.
Workers in a home environment report they are less distracted by co-workers, spending 30 minutes less talking about non-work topics, and spend 7% less time talking to management.
The New York Times interviewed Nathan Schultz, a senior executive at Chegg, about productivity within the company now that the workforce is sheltered at home.
His first impulse was to constantly check in on employees, but once he backed off, the productivity went up, and employees started completing projects ahead of schedule.
Just because productivity is up, for now, doesn’t mean it will stay this way. The same NYT article reports some companies are seeing employees struggle with the lack of social interaction. The mental health of employees will start to hinder productivity over time decreasing employee satisfaction.
Companies like Splunk, Affirm, and Microsoft saw a large spike in productivity in the first couple of months of quarantine, but over time, the loneliness of working at a home office affects productivity and job satisfaction.
This is why many companies are now embracing a hybrid work model.
Working from home and Maximizing productivity
Whereat home can you be productive? How do you stay focused? When should you start and finish?
Below are some tips to help you or your employees be more successful working at home:
- Create a comfortable workspace. Working in an office caters to keeping you focused and on track. Try to recreate this working space in your home, whether it’s turning an extra room into your office or putting a desk behind the couch. The space should be comfortable, away from added screens (TV, Xbox, etc.), and have everything you need to complete your work.
- Stay organized. You might need to adopt a new organizing system or start using a day planner to make sure you stay on schedule. It’s recommended to create a weekly work schedule and list the tasks you need to complete. Staying committed to the schedule will help you create consistency and a routine.
- Commit to smaller, but intense work intervals. You can be more productive when you focus intently for smaller periods of time. Spend a couple of hours timing how long you can work before getting distracted. For example, if you can work for 30 minutes before getting distracted, then continue this pace throughout the whole day. After each break, set a timer and work for the next 30 minutes uninterrupted.
- Take a break. Taking regular breaks allows your brain to refocus and relax. In the Airtasker survey, 37% of the remote workers say taking regular breaks is the best way to stay productive. Use your break to get a snack, drink water, get fresh air, or check on your family. The average break time for a remote worker is 22 minutes spread out across the day.
- Schedule a virtual commute. According to the New York Times, the hardest part of working from home is the loneliness and lack of social interaction. Taking your regular commute time to check in with co-workers can help support social interaction and focus your brain on the day’s work.
To Sum It Up
Working from home can be a more productive work environment than the typical office cubicle enhancing work-life balance depending on your setup. The current pandemic has changed the way we work, and more companies are turning to at-home solutions.
Make sure your employees are comfortable, organized, and healthy to also make sure their productivity stays at company standards for months to come.
In addition to all these tips, while working remotely Omofis can help you with office and time management tools. Contact us!