Does telecommuting actually increase productivity?
Yahoo! CEO bans flexible work environments, although studies suggest flexible work environments benefit both corporations and individuals.
Studies show that telecommuting is on the rise and the tangible benefits of a flexible work environment.
Some 30 million people work from a home office at least once a week. In the next five years, that number is expected to increase by 63 percent, according to a study by the Telework Research Network.
“As an employer, restricting your hiring to a small geographic region means you’re not getting the best people you can,” writes David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried, founders of 37signals and authors of “REMOTE: Office Not Required” (Crown, March 2013). “As an employee, restricting your job search to companies within a reasonable commute means you’re not working for the best company you can.”
Research out of Stanford University indicates that super-productive employees work their best from home, not in the office.
To study whether employees are more or less productive at home or in the office, the researchers created perhaps the first randomized study of remote work at Ctrip, a travel agency in Shanghai, China with 13,000 employees.
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In its coverage of the 9-month study, Wired found:
- Those who worked at home had a 12 percent increase in productivity over their peers.
- This group had a 50 percent drop in attrition and reported higher feelings of work satisfaction than those who reported to the office.
- Of that (12 percent) increase, 8.5 percent came from working more hours (due to shorter breaks and fewer sick days).
- 3.5 percent came from more performance per minute.
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“Work schedules are not always a one-size fits all type of approach so there are definitely benefits to workplace flexibility,” says Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation.com. “Many positions necessitate a presence in the office, but you may actually get more out of your employees when they have more flexible schedules.”
Though they seem to be in the minority, some people believe Mayer is making the right call.
“For what it's worth, I support the no working from home rule. There's a ton of abuse of that at Yahoo. Something specific to the company,” a former Yahoo engineer told Business Insider.
Do you think those who work from home are more productive employees than those who put in time at the office?
Photo: Ken Wramton/Getty Images
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