Here’s how remote work influences productivity
Let’s face it – the global rise of the pandemic made us adapt to situations we’ve never seen before but also work in ways we could not have imagined years ago. While remote work has traditionally received a bad rap, many things have changed after the pandemic and the tremendous benefits both companies and employees saw while working from home.
The common belief that the workforce would be too easily distracted at home seems to have disappeared – teleconferencing and telework technology advanced to the point where they are used by almost every business out there.
Many businesses published their quarterly and yearly remote work achievements and wins – even big names in tech like Dropbox, Meta, and Reddit made the permanent switch to remote work, making big changes to their operations and staff. Today’s blog shows you what we can all learn from a big change like this, exploring the link between remote work and employee productivity.
Remote Work In Numbers: Is It Effective?
While some companies have gone fully remote, others still opt for a different hybrid or on-site work environment. Despite all the hurdles, businesses have found that they are unprepared for disruptions as normal, including when it comes to remote work. However, having a clear plan, employee training, and strategy makes remote work viable and could eventually become a more permanent workforce component.
If you want to understand the effectiveness of remote work, perhaps the following research numbers can clarify it. According to a survey by Airtasker that interviewed 1,004 full-time employees (505 of whom were remote workers):
- 47% productivity increase in people who work from home
- Remote employees work an additional 1.4 more days per month compared to their office-based colleagues, which makes up for 17 additional workdays a year
- Remote employees take longer breaks but work an additional 10 minutes a day
- Office workers are unproductive for an average of 37 minutes, while remote employees are unproductive for only 27 minutes (not including their lunch breaks)
- 15% of remote workers claimed their boss distracted them from work, which is less than the 22% that had the same experience in the office
These statistics may encourage both employees and employers to start implementing work-from-home and remote programs for employees. But what about productivity – and how does it change in a remote environment? The answer is below.
In Remote Environments, Productivity Comes From Less Interaction
As we all know, remote work is, on its own, a practice that limits connections between team members to chat, email, and voice calls only. In such a workspace, employees don’t interact as much as they would in the ways they normally would around the office. As a result, all of these scenarios are limited, from water cooler talks to lunches in the corporate cafeteria and impromptu meetings.
The take-off is using remote work tools, which only limits them to chat and voice or video calls, which was found to impact productivity positively. At the same time, however, these environments tend to reduce innovation.
From an individual standpoint, many remote workers claim that the hours they save in commuting or doing tasks like preparing for work give them actual time and space for long-term thinking. As a result, they also got to spend more time with their family and loved ones, making them happier and more productive at work.
Remote Work Technology Is Far More Developed
Skype and Zoom were some of the main carriers of remote work innovation. However, even before them, researchers found benefits linked to remote work – as they stated back then, the “dependence on physical proximity imposes substantial costs as well, and may undercut successful collaboration.”
Two decades later and more than two years since the pandemic started, remote work technology is far more developed. We can see remote work software everywhere and greater confidence from businesses adopting them. Of course, the sentiment toward the effectiveness and increased productivity may depend on the industry. Still, the general feeling is that remote work is accepted, and people are being acknowledged for their capabilities rather than their presence.
While in the early days of the pandemic, people were less optimistic about remote work and its effectiveness, things changed as people learned to work remotely and organize their time. The general standpoint right now is that working from home during the pandemic has been far more productive than anyone has ever predicted.
For Some, Hybrid Workplaces Is The Best Of Both Worlds
Lastly, a group can’t say no to the increased productivity that remote work brings but prefers regular office work and in-person meetings. For this category of businesses, the hybrid workplace seems to be the most logical answer. At its best, a hybrid office enables all team leaders to find the best solutions, make the best choices, organize small tasks and in-person meetings, and make everything more flexible.
A company can also choose between remote-first (prioritizing remote work), office occasional, or office-first. However, the remote aspect entering into every pore of the modern workplace as we know it can surely mean one thing – flexibility is what employees want. Flexible schedules are something that makes them more productive.
In the end, whether you should go remotely, go back to the office or embrace a hybrid workplace pertains to you and your employees. It might be good to ask them what they prefer and evaluate your costs, organization schedule, and goals before making an official decision.
There is no doubt that remote work increases productivity. In the modern world today, everyone can find the right tools to manage a remote work environment and take their business to new heights.