The Effectiveness of Remote Work Environments
With the COVID-19 pandemic came the need for businesses to adopt a remote working environment. But with the novelty of having a distributed workforce comes the need to restructure how we measure productivity and the overall effectiveness of remote work.
A multitude of studies have shown work from home environments bolster staff productivity and improve employee satisfaction – largely due to the flexibility of the arrangement.
Prior to the onset of the coronavirus, many employers were apprehensive about adopting remote working policies – fearing that employees would be distracted and less productive.
After the pandemic required employers to adopt alternative work environments to protect employee well-being and minimize human contact, businesses are now wondering how to judge the effectiveness of their distributed work environment.
A Deep Dive into Work From Home Statistics
A multitude of surveys over the past few months have reported that employees working remotely are showing an increase in productivity, as well as turnaround time on project completion.
Employee visibility software company Prodoscore analyzed data during March and April of 2020 – comparing it to the same period in 2019. Their findings revealed a 47% uptick in productivity levels, a 176% increase in CRM activity, a 57% rise in email activity and a 230% surge in telephone calls. Another interesting detail from their report showed worker productivity was at its highest on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between the hours of 10:30 am and 3:00 pm.
In another survey conducted by Airtasker, research revealed that in comparison to office employees, remote workers saved an average of $4,523 annually on fuel. Delving into this further, the lack of commute equated to an extra 408 hours (or 17 days) of time saved that would’ve otherwise been spent driving to the office.
In the same survey, findings also revealed that, on average, remote employees worked 1.4 more days every month compared to their office counterparts. Despite popular opinion, remote workers reported being less distracted at home – spending 7% less time speaking with management, as well as 30 minutes less time speaking about non-work-related topics with co-workers.
Working from Home vs. Working in an Office
Although work-from-home employees show a higher level of work and focus, they are also spending more time on wellness-related activities – like physical exercise – an important part of the health and satisfaction of workers. Where employers need to be placing their focus, according to The New York Times, is on social interaction and protecting the mental well-being of remote workers.
It’s possible for companies to experience a decrease in productivity and job satisfaction if efforts aren’t taken to combat feelings of isolation or loneliness. From virtual happy hours to outdoor get-togethers, there are a number of ways businesses can get creative and ensure social interaction remains an important piece of company culture.
While freeing up commute time is allowing employees to engage in more activities outside of work and pursue their hobbies, employers should still place an emphasis on mental and physical health initiatives.
Summing Up the Efficacy of Distributed Work Environments
There’s no disputing the enhanced work-life balance derived from the flexibility a remote work setting offers. After the pandemic completely disrupted the way we work, companies were forced to turn to at-home working solutions – adopting new software and programs to accommodate remote life.
While the transition may have felt a bit chaotic and overwhelming for both employers and employees at the onset, the implementation of new applications and policies has helped transform the home working environment into one that’s productive and effective.
Crafting and implementing a strategy focused on maximizing productivity, project management, and employee well-being is a pivotal piece of navigating the current landscape.
This is especially true as advancements in technology and new workforce trends shape the future of business. To ensure your company has the infrastructure and strategy needed for long-term success, contact our experts to learn more about how we can help develop a customized plan to fit your needs.