Remote Employees Are Often More Productive, Finds Study

by CXOtoday News Desk    Sep 27, 2016


Today’s workplace is a global one, with companies and even teams that stretch across geographical boundaries. Distance is no longer a barrier to collaboration, thanks to technologies that allow for instantaneous communication across state and country borders. The idea of supervising and working with employees in a virtual setup is hence becoming a common phenomenon.

While flexible jobs have come under quite a bit of scrutiny from businesses, and government agencies, at present a good number of companies are gathering professionals from remote places to provide versatile energy of workers at the workplace. A new survey conducted by FlexJobs shows that over 3,100 professionals, only 7 percent of workers say the office is their location of choice if they need to be most productive on important work-related projects.

The study reveals that 51 percent of professionals said that their home is their preferred place to work. Eight percent said they would choose a coffee shop, coworking space, library, or other place besides the office and another 8 percent would choose the office, but only outside regular hours. Twenty-six percent go to the office during regular hours to complete important work because it’s not an option to leave. According to another report by Gallup, 37% of of U.S. workers say they have telecommuted, a massive increase from the 9% who said the same back in 1995. While those are still a US scenario. However, the concept is catching up globally as well because many of them are global IT and financial companies that are adopting a remote work policy for their employees.

The India scenario

The obvious  fact is that we all works to meet the demands of their personal life and family. But when improper work hours or workplace disrupt the daily life schedule of worker that is what it bothers a professional to sustain. Thus many companies has sketched out flexi plans for their professionals to ease out workplace culture. According to June report flexjob has listed out companies list who have recently posted jobs that are open for professionals residing in India includes Symantec, About.Com, Facebook, VMware, United Health Group, Xerox, Axelerant, U.S Green Building Council, RiseSmart, Intel, SAP.

That means the jobs are either specifically open to people residing in India, or they are “work-from-anywhere jobs” that have no location requirements and can be done from anywhere in the world.

 The productivity factor

The study justifies that remote workers tend to feel happier and more productive than those who have to make the daily commute to the office.To know the reason why remote workers are more productive one need to analyse the benefit of being remote workers. For example, for remote workers social interaction means interacting with family, friends ,pets, random objects,or yourself . And if you are a traveller you can achieve more than social life of  your office. That is not the end for remote workers there is no need for formal dressing or formal behavioural etiquettes with office neighbour. One stay far away from office gossips and politics and spending ideal time with one’s personal development.At the end, though, remote workers were found to be more happy, productive, and felt more valued, which seems like a pretty good trade-off. The report said  65 per cent of workers think they would be more productive telecommuting than working in a traditional workplace.

Read more: Video Conferencing To Get Smarter, Bigger In 2016

According to the survey records 33 percent reported having left a job because it did not have work flexibility, 14 percent have considered leaving a job because it did not have work flexibility, 18 percent are currently looking for a new job because of work flexibility issue. Not only that flexible work options have become so important to people that very few worry about whether or not getting a flexible job will negatively impact the trajectory of their careers. Only 3 percent of respondents worry “a lot” that a flexible work arrangement will hurt their career progression.

According to the four key reasons for wanting flexible work options include work-life balance (79 percent), family (52 percent) time savings (48 percent) and commute stress (47 percent)

The survey emphasizes that telecommuting remains the most popular form of flexible work, and those who’ve already worked remotely are increasing the amount of time they spend working from home. Of those who telecommuted in 2015, 22 percent telecommuted more this year than last year.

What recruiters/leaders should understand

The quality of performers companies are hiring plays the most important part when a company decides to allow select employees the remote working facilities. Communication counts more than ever. While management communication always matters greatly, in the absence of direct in-person contact, and the potential for isolation and confusion that implies, it’s critical that remote managers stay in frequent contact to ensure they know what’s being worked on and the progress being made, said a Forbes article.  

Clarity of employee goals and objectives counts more than ever, noted the article. Given the distance and potential to not know exactly what employees are working on and how they’re spending their time, it’s incumbent on managers (and remote workers) to know very clearly what the expectations are, and the work that must be delivered.  

If these expectations are completely clear, or mutually agreed-upon, it will help bring the entire remote working arrangement into clearer focus.