Does productivity increase for remote workers?

One of the biggest fears business owners have when deciding if a virtual office can work for their team is that employee productivity will drop. As more and more companies are exploring this option for their employees this subject is being looked at in more detail, both from the side of the employer and the employee. Let’s look at them in more detail below.


The facts

Giving your employees the option to work from home can lead to increased productivity. A study conducted by ConnectSolutions found that 77% of employees that work remotely feel they are more productive as well as 23% of employees being willing to work longer hours and 52% take less time away from work. Also, it has been proven a happy employee is a more productive employee. The same study by ConnectSolutions found that 44% reported having a more positive attitude. Best Buy also reported they experienced a 35% increase in employee productivity once they implemented flexible working options for their employees.

If allowing employees to work from home can significantly reduce a company’s overhead as well as increasing employee productivity why isn’t every company allowing this option? Is this too good to be true?

How can this be?

An increase in employee productivity for remote workers seems to defy logic. How can an employee be more productive with household distractions and without anyone looking over their shoulder? There are many reasons why employee productivity could increase for work from home employees. A few of the reasons include:


Fewer distractions - Employees that work from home actually report fewer distractions than working in an office. Of course, there will be distractions an employee will encounter in their home they would not in an office, but the reverse is also true. For every load of laundry they put in the dryer in between conference calls the employee is not being interrupted by their co-worker’s gossip or impromptu meetings. Also, according to a study conducted by Sure Payroll 86% of the workers surveyed preferred to work alone to hit maximum productivity.


Less commute - Instead of rushing to get showered, dressed and out the door for a long commute to the office a remote employee can instead take that time prepare better mentally for their day. They can enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee or review their tasks for the day so when it is time for their work day to start they are more relaxed and focused instead of feeling flustered and angry from sitting in traffic. Remote employees also generally start their work days earlier which can lead to an increase in hours that employee is available to complete tasks.


Less turnover - Employees that have the option to work from home see this as a huge benefit offered by their employer. Most know working from home is not norm and this makes it less likely they will leave their current employer. This study reported 25% less turnover for companies that support remote working arrangements. Reducing employee turnover can lead to major increases in an organization’s productivity.


Is this too good to be true?

If allowing employees to work from home can significantly reduce a company’s overhead as well as increasing employee productivity why isn’t every company allowing this option? Is this too good to be true? I believe the answer to that question is “yes and no." According to the studies cited above (and many more available) employee productivity can increase when given the option to work from home, but that does not mean it is 100% guaranteed. Companies that are exploring the option to transition to a virtual work force must ensure they are providing their employees the tools and training they need to be successful working remotely. They must also amend their hiring and selection process to ensure they are bringing on employees that will thrive in this environment. If these issues are taken into consideration it will help improve the company’s chance of success of operating a virtual office.

If you have any questions on how to effectively and efficiently move your company to the virtual world contact Harper Administrative Services today!

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