Since the first quarter of 2020, trends and expectations for remote work have changed. Organizations were not prepared for their entire workforce to work from home, but thanks to technology and innovation, telecommuting is currently working optimally for many companies.
Around the world, more and more organizations are adopting flexible hours for their remote teams, leading to new trends in remote working and offering more options to telecommuters.
Are Remote workers More or Less Productive Than in the Office?
According to a survey by the Becker Friedman Institute for Economics at the University of Chicago, 30% of employees explained to researchers that they were more productive and engaged working from home. Also, a study by Owl Labs indicates that:
- Remote employees save an average of 40 minutes a day on the road.
- Since 2020, employees have been videoconferencing 50% more since COVID-19.
- During the pandemic, 70% of full-time workers are working from home.
- After COVID-19, 92% of people surveyed expect to work from home at least 1 day a week and 80% expect to work at least 3 days from home a week.
- 23% of those surveyed would accept a 10% pay cut to work from home permanently.
- 81% of respondents believe their company will continue to support remote work after COVID-19.
- 59% of respondents said they would be more likely to choose an organization that offers telecommuting.
So Does Remote Work Increase Employee Productivity?
The numbers say that remote workers are more productive in many cases, but not in all situations.
An Upwork Future of Work report found that 22.5% of managers indicated that productivity had decreased compared to 32.2% of hiring managers who stated that productivity had increased since their employees started to work from home in 2020. In fact, their performance increased by 22%, according to a Stanford study.
Mercer, a workplace benefits and human resources consulting firm, surveyed 800 companies. 94% of these organizations stated that labor productivity was the same or higher since employees started working from home.
Why Are Remote Workers More Productive?
Remote workers are more productive because they don’t have to travel; they have fewer distractions, more time for family, a better quality of life and a better work-life balance. Therefore, job satisfaction is essential to keep employee productivity high and reduce employee turnover.
Are Remote Workers Happier?
A report from Owl Labs suggests that remote workers are happier and stay in their jobs longer because they have less stress, more ability to concentrate, and achieve a better work-life balance.
It is clear that this trend of remote work is increasing by the day and could be a key to employee retention. Another model that is also gaining ground is the hybrid work model where employees spend part of the week working in the office and part of the week at home.
Do the Employees Want to Go Back to the Office?
A survey of workers in six countries found that 72% prefer a hybrid remote office model and only 12% prefer to always work in an office environment. In addition, 13% expressed their desire to always work from home if they had the option.
PwC conducted a similar survey of 1,200 US office workers and 120 executives in 2020. 73% of the executives surveyed said that remote work has been a success.
The PwC study also found that 72% of workers surveyed would like to continue working from home for at least 2 days a week, even when they can return to the office full time. 32% stated that they would like to work from home permanently.
In conclusion, whether organizations are prepared or not, remote work is here to stay for at least the next few years. There will always be those who prefer to work in an office. For example, industries like food, retail, and construction need employees who work at the business every day.
In the medium and long term, statistics on remote workers will continue to be investigated. However, new tools must be adopted for remote teams and new strategies developed for this new type of remote workforce.