The Productivity Gains of Working From Home

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Conventional wisdom holds that a lack of self-discipline threatens the productivity of those who work from home. This view has recently been challenged by internal company studies that found that their work-from-home employees were in fact more productive than their office workers. The studies also found some other reasons why companies who allow some of their employees working from home to be more productive than their traditional counterparts.

Here are some of the reasons why the increasing trend to work from home yields more productive workers and companies:

  • People who work from home literally spend more time working. They do not have to commute to an office in heavy traffic twice a day, which affords them at least one more hour of fruitful work time a day, or 24 extra work days a year. These employees are often not distracted by office chit chat as well.

  • People who work from home may have less stress, they work in a comfortable environment, they do not have to face idle chit chat, and they are more productive in the fact that interactions are now simple and through email.

  • People that work from home can rest when they need to, and work in a structured format that works for them. Many experts argue, for example, that those who take an afternoon nap can be more productive than those who sleep only once during a 24-hour sleep cycle. This is much easier to do at home than at an office.

  • Employees can take more work breaks because they do not have to squeeze their whole day into a fixed period of nine hours in the office. If they feel like working in the early morning or the late evening, some of the day-time hours can be spent relaxing or engaging in enjoyable hobbies.

  • Employees that work from home are also likely to be healthier, which guarantees higher productivity. For example, they can eat nutritious meals, instead of being tempted by office treats. Having more flexibility to schedule an exercise routine, these people are more apt to stick to their routine.

  • Such workers can schedule their interruptions instead of being constantly interrupted by clients or fellow office staff.

  • Companies that allow staff to work from home increase their productivity by being able to hold onto staff that would otherwise have left - workers with child care responsibilities, for example. They can then retain experienced employees who know the business instead of repeatedly having to train new people.

  • People who work from home are generally regarded as responsible employees. Trusted employees tend to work better with more autonomy.

So, what do you think of working from home? Do you think you would be as productive?

If you could get all your work done in 4 days, with the reward of having the 5th day off, could you get all your work done? What if the question was to get all your work done in 3 days to get 2 days off per week – could you do it? This begs to answer the question of productivity. Generally, with incentive and reward, people will prioritize and be able to handle tasks and time management skills improve.