Remote working into the future.
Remote workers, especially those who work from home, have an unfair reputation. The myth is that they are less productive.
The reason being, they are subjected to all sorts of personal distractions that poorly affect their productivity. Some employers believe it is too easy for the remote worker to give in to those distractions and thus, not give the job the time and energy it deserves. The research proves otherwise however.
Two-thirds of employees are more productive when they work remotely
A survey conducted by Connect Solutions reported that among those who worked remotely, both part-time and full-time, 77% stated they were more productive when working remotely; 30% stated that they accomplished more in less time than when they worked in-house.
Furthermore, remote workers were less likely to take time off, even working when ill. If this is the case, then utilising remote work environments would benefit employers.
“Among the reasons for the greater productivity of remote workers appeared to be that working off-site was often less stressful,” said Christian Sebastiano Baudo, founder of Canon, a digital platform that wants good fan theories to be part of the source material. “Also, remote workers are motivated to produce in order to be able to continue in that environment. Employers definitely benefit here by less turnover and absenteeism”, he says.
Other studies reported in a U.S. News & World Report confirms the Connect Solutions study findings, including that remote workers tend to put in 6-7 more hours per week than on-site employees.
Why employers should pay more attention to remote work productivity
Employers and managers fall victim to the myths about remote workers too. Without conducting much research, they have simply developed the notion that teleworkers are more distracted and therefore less productive.
They believe that collaboration and communication among teams suffer when all workers are not present on-site. However, according to stats from Global Workplace Analytics, when employers have a successful experience with a remote work environment, the following was found:
- 95% of employers surveyed stated that allowing telecommuting increases employee retention rates.
- 37% of teleworkers interviewed stated they would take a 10% pay cut in order to continue to work remotely. The savings in physically commuting, meals, etc., they believe, are worth at least that much.
- Employers also stated that remote workers tend to return to work sooner following health issues.
- Managers in large enterprises state that teleworkers are more productive than their counterparts on-site.
A forgotten element in today’s new workplace environment is how technology has made it possible for as much collaboration and communication as necessary. Tools for video conferencing, file sharing and time tracking make team collaboration easy and productive.
Recap: Why remote workers are MORE productive
The studies and statistics tell a comprehensive story of the benefits to both employers and workers when embracing remote work environments. The big takeaway is that teleworkers are more productive.
Consider these points:
- Another study found that there has been a 16% increase in the number of workers who say their office environments are reducing their ability to concentrate. And 13% stated they could find no quiet place to work.
- There are plenty of distractions in an office environment – conversations among other workers, socialising in the office space during work hours, etc.
- Remote workers have more autonomy and control over their day and evenings, even weekends. In one survey, 86% of surveyed workers states that they reach maximum productivity by working alone.
- Teamwork does not suffer, because of the ability to video conference when necessary, even outside of normal work hours. Collaboration can occur at any time without the physical proximity a traditional office requires.
New Generation of Workforce.
Millennials are already the largest generation in the workforce.
They have a very different view of how and where work should occur. They dismiss the traditional notion that it should be in a physical place, where all employees are present. They prefer to be evaluated by their productivity and ability to complete tasks, rather than their physical presence on-site. And they see no reason for a requirement that they be present, so long as their work is accomplished well and on-time. Gen-Z’ers are following Millennials into the workforce and their mindset is the same.
The global nature of work today means that employees across the planet don’t work for a single enterprise. They all work remotely. The very nature of work is rapidly changing. Organisations need to embrace this new environment if they are to attract and keep young talent.