The opportunity to work from home seems to be a dream gig. But is it difficult to stay focused when surrounded by the amenities (and distractions) of your home? It's easier than you might think.
Today, more than five percent of the US workforce work from home. Even those who do not have full-time remote jobs work from home one or two days a week. Many also work on freelance projects after completing their regular workday at home.
Regardless of when and how they work, remote workers almost always have one question: is it difficult to stay productive? If you are interested in working from home, you may be wondering the same.
Keeping your fridge, pets, bed, Netflix account, and other distractions at your fingertips can make it impossible to get things done. But research might surprise you: Working from home makes people more productive .
That's good news, but raises other questions as well. Why does working from home make people more productive? Does it increase productivity for everyone? If you have the idea of switching to remote work, you should know the following.
Productivity and remote work: what the research shows
Many employers are shying away from the idea of having their employees work from home. It is not difficult to understand why.
When most people imagine working from home, they see a constant call to relax. Workers could ignore orders for television and snacks or errands and cleaning. Can people really stick to a job without the accountability of bosses and staff nearby?
As work from home became more common, researchers turned to this question. In one notable study, a Stanford professor traced 1
In terms of productivity, the teleworkers blew the office workers out of the water. Not only did you do more on an average working day, but you also had less free time, shorter breaks and a lower probability of termination. The company also saved thousands of dollars in renting office space.
This study is the most comprehensive study of home productivity. However, smaller studies and reports reflect the same results.
For example, Best Buy had a productivity increase of 35 percent in 2006, when a "flexible" schedule was offered that allowed for some working hours from home. And a 2018 study of more than 1,000 employees found that remote employees were more invested in their work than their colleagues in the office.
Why is productivity increasing at home?
Other studies have allowed workers to independently report on how working from home affects them. These results provide insight into how people can do more.
Why does work from home increase productivity? Here are just a few reasons:
- Reduced Distractions and Interruptions : Even if your home has its own distractions, they are easier to avoid than interruptions in the workplace. As lunch sessions or chatty colleagues.
- No office drama : If you have problems with a boss or colleague, this is far more disturbing than the average error. Without dramatic or office-political requirements, remote employees can concentrate more on their work.
- Less Stress : Getting to and from work can be very stressful. If you do not have to deal with traffic or unpredictable public transport, you have much more energy for the actual work.
- No early departure or delay : If you work from home, there are fewer incentives for cuts Your working day is short. Employees often can not wait to leave a stressful, boring office. At home, people like to work longer. Working from home often means that you can work at any time, not just at office hours.
While home-based work has many other benefits, these are the key factors influencing productivity. If you take these into account, it's clear why remote workers do a lot more work.
Can everyone be productive at home?
You may think, "Okay, but what about me?"
That's one thing Read exciting research on employees of other companies. But will you be as productive as she is when working from home? The truth is, although the research is promising, there are no guarantees. Some people thrive as remote workers, while others need the structure of the office.
You only know it when you try. If all of the following factors apply to you, you will probably get along well as a remote employee:
- You find the office stressful: Do you stress the labor policy or the fact that you are surrounded by people? Workers who feel more relaxed and focused when they are alone often do so best when working from home.
- You are familiar with the technology: Remote workers communicate with their colleagues through apps and software. If you are familiar with learning and using new tools, be careful.
- Commuting is difficult: A long, expensive and stressful shuttle service costs a lot of time and energy. You get everything back when working remotely.
- You Like Your Job : If you love the basic nature of your work, you probably will not find it hard to focus on it at home. However, if you find your daily needs tedious or boring, it may be harder to resist distractions.
- Your home is work-friendly : If you find quiet hours at home to focus on work, you can expect success. However, if you work from home and are also responsible for children, pets or housework, you may have difficulty getting things done.
Your success as a remote worker also depends on your employer. For example, if your boss gives you the freedom to concentrate, you can succeed. However, if she expects check-in calls twice a day, working through the breaks will be as remote as doing office work.
Is remote work suitable for you?
As research shows, it is not hard for many people to work productively at home. However, it depends on what kind of worker you are.
Some people are better off working from home than others. Your motivation, self-discipline, your home environment and other factors play an important role.
If you think remote work is right for you, do not let the productivity myth stop you. Research has shown that it is possible and easier to do your job even better from home.