This global pandemic has led to a rise in the number of employees working from home. Due to social distancing measures, many businesses have embraced remote workers and online communications to relocate their staff. We look at the pros and cons of this change.
Working from home has long been a contentious issue among business professionals as some argue that worker’s productivity drops outside the office.
However, studies, like the experiment conducted by Stanford University in 2014, discovered a 13% productivity spike when employees were encouraged to work from home.
So, what are the pros and cons of remote working in the modern workplace? Let’s find out!
Are Remote Workers More Productive?
The 2014 Stanford Study has concluded from their remote workers statistics that 4% of employees increased their productivity while working the same number of hours at home. Simultaneously, employers during the recent pandemic found that remote workers and COVID work from home policies only decreased productivity among employees by 1%.
Although these numbers may sound small, this data suggests that remote workers’ output generally increases rather than decreases when staff work from home.
Experts put this increase down to several factors, from more freedom and rest between tasks to fewer interruptions throughout the course of the workday.
Anyone who has worked in an office will know the dread of the impromptu meeting or the urgent group email that pops up while you are busy with something else. The removal of these distractions is just one reason why remote workers are more productive. Let’s look at some others!
Pros and Cons of Letting Employees Work From Home
Pro: Better Relationships Between Staff and Management
With 61% of employees working from home during COVID, managers and businesses report that they are more communicative and responsive during work hours. Video conferencing technology and online communication have allowed many remote workers to move seamlessly from the office to home.
Although some employees report video conferencing fatigue, many suggest that scheduled online conversations between themselves and management have streamlined communications. Instead of wasting time on meetings, management and employees are encouraged to keep online conferences brief, focused, and prepare thoroughly beforehand.
Con: Lack of In-Office Team Building
Although many employees reported increased ability to focus on work and meet their aims and targets while working from home, some complain about missing the social aspect of office life.
Lack of office time does not allow extroverts and those who naturally work well in social environments to thrive. However, overall, this did not drastically impact remote workers’ productivity.
Pro: Staff Are More Enthused and Innovative
When it comes to remote workers vs office workers, job satisfaction plays into the increased productivity demonstrated during the pandemic.
Remote workers report higher levels of creativity and independence as they can set their own schedules and work at the times that best suit them. Taking breaks or switching tasks during difficult assignments – which may be frowned upon in an office – can lead to more innovative ways to tackle problems.
Happy workers often equal productive workers, and many post-COVID workplaces are reaping the benefits of a more relaxed and forward-thinking team.
Con: Difficult Working Conditions for Some Employees
Despite these improvements overall, some remote workers’ jobs have been negatively affected by the widespread changeover to working from home. Employees with children, stressful living situations, or who prefer team-focused tasks may struggle with falling productivity or loneliness during this time.
Management can help offset these negative consequences by maintaining frequent communication lines and offering extra support if they notice a remote worker struggling.
It’s safe to say that working from home is the new future of employment. Whether its building out-of-office teams or hiring freelancers, the 9-5 may be a thing of the past. Data shows that employers should embrace this change to reap the benefits that increased trust, communication, and freedom give to management and staff.
Do you work from home or run a business that employs remote staff? How does this affect work relationships and staff productivity? Are there some pros and cons that you have noticed? Let us know in the comments!
Enjoyed reading the blog? Sign up for our bi-monthly newsletter to receive marketing news and advice.Follow me:
- Remote Workers or Not? Which Is Better for Business? - October 14, 2020