There are two lines of thought when it comes to remote working. One group thinks nothing will get done, and the other thinks that happier, less stressed workers will be more productive. The truth is it probably depends on the individual, the infrastructure and the culture of the business.
A culture that truly focuses on output rather than presenteeism will support remote work. One that places high value on wellbeing will understand the gains to be had when wellbeing is prioritized. An infrastructure that provides easy communication between employees – remote and in the office and support for remote workers will likely find offering home-working to be beneficial.
One size doesn’t fit all and the success of an employee working remotely is likely to boil down to a person’s style of working and the job that they do. Some people find office chatter very distracting, whilst others may find it hard to knuckle down with a TV nearby at home. Some thrive from seeing the team each day, and others will work better if they have the opportunity to better juggle their home responsibilities.
As the world of work changes and more people embrace the idea of remote working there’s been plenty of research into its benefits.
According to a study by Global Workplace Analytics, 86 percent of remote workers feel they are more productive working from home. Research also suggests that remote workers produce 43 percent more business volume than their in-office counterparts.
Stanford professor, Nick Bloom, conducted a study to evaluate the benefits of working from home. He found, not only were workers were more productive, but they also took less sick days, worked more hours, and took fewer breaks than those in the office. The employees in his study were happier and staff turnover went down.
Better work-life balance
It’s much easier to eat a healthy diet if you work from home. Eating a better diet could help avoid many prevalent health issues that not only cause us stress but mean time off work too.
Saving time on the commute means more time to do chores, walk the dog, get some extra rest – have a better, more balanced life! Extra time, along with having that time at home or with family is a sure-fire recipe for a healthier work-life balance. A 2011 study from Staples found that employees who worked from home experienced 25 percent less stress! And less stressed employees are far more productive! Hurrah!
Employers who offer flexible or remote working will make savings in their overheads – and lower the carbon footprint of their company (with less commuting). Remote employees use their own electricity, coffee and tea supplies, perhaps even their own laptop and they won’t need desk space either! Overtime these small incremental gains mount up. In addition, employers who aren’t fussed about the location of their team open up the talent pool from which they can hire, allowing them to find exactly the right candidate, rather than having to choose from someone local.
"If people can work where they live, they are going to live in different places," says Business school economics professor John Roberts. If people would rather live nearer family, in rural areas or abroad then the gains of remote work may well stretch beyond businesses and their employees, but could potentially benefit wider society as well.
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