Productivity When Working at Home vs. Working in the Office: Which is Greater?

Posted by Sabrina Sturm Thu, 29 Nov 2012 08:24:00 GMT

It is not a rare occurrence when a co-worker sends an early e-mail stating that he or she will be working from home that day. Thanks to digital tools such as VPNs and video conferencing, the percentage of employees working from home has doubled since 1980. Many employers gladly encourage employees to work from home; however, others remain skeptical of productivity levels and unnecessary interruptions. 

Some factors that contribute to your boss’ reluctance to allow you to work from home include: lack of face-to-face communication, distractions, slacking off and no accountability. And those who do work from home have admitted that children, pets, television and errands contribute to the list of distractions. However, an infographic with compiled information from Stanford University states that 44% of employees claim working from home offers less distractions than working from the office. 

With that said, the amount of at-home distractions is incomparable to the increase of work-related productivity. According to “Does Working from Home Work?”, a 2012 study by Brown University, working from home can increase worker performance by 12% and substantially increase job satisfaction. Furthermore, employees save a large amount of commuting time by working from home. With this extra time employees are able to relax, spend time with their families and, of course, spend more time working. 

As it becomes more common, remember to consider the digital tools that make working from home a seamless transition. For example, VPNs allow workers to connect to the necessary servers to retrieve work files. The secure networks keeps company data protected and even allows remote IT maintenance. Video conferencing also grants at-home employees the opportunity to participate in meetings and remain part of important, relationship-building face-to-face interactions. 

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