New Study Uncovers the Secrets of Remote Work Productivity

New Study Uncovers the Secrets of Remote Work Productivity August 6, 2023

Remote Work Productivity

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to adapt to remote work, and the results have been surprising. A new study from the Becker Friedman Institute at the University of Chicago found that remote work saved about two hours per week per worker in 2021 and 2022. Workers allocated 40 percent of time savings to work and about 11 percent to caregiving activities.

That’s over 45 minutes more work per week! No wonder extensive data shows that workers are more productive when working remotely.

As a highly experienced expert in hybrid and remote work, I have consulted for many companies on this topic. And my clients invariably express surprise over the clear data showing the improvement in productivity caused by remote work.

The Data on Remote Work Productivity

A study conducted by Stanford University in the summer of 2020 discovered that remote workers were 5% more productive than those working in a physical office. By the spring of 2022, remote worker productivity had risen to 9% as businesses became more familiar with remote work practices and invested in technology to support it. This trend was also confirmed by another study utilizing employee monitoring software which found that remote workers were substantially more efficient than their in-office counterparts.

Overall, productivity is significantly higher with remote work, as evidenced by a study from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) which found that businesses relying on remote work, such as IT and finance, saw productivity growth increase from 1.1% between 2010 and 2019 to 3.3% since the start of the pandemic. In contrast, industries that require in-person contact, such as transportation, dining and hospitality, saw productivity growth decrease from 0.6% between 2010 and 2019 to a decline of 2.6% since the start of the pandemic.

In addition to increased productivity, remote workers are often willing to accept lower wages in exchange for the flexibility of working from home. Another NBER study found that remote work decreased wage growth by 2% over the first two years of the pandemic as employees view it as a valuable benefit. A survey of 3,000 workers at top companies such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft found that 64% would prefer permanent work-from-home over a $30,000 pay raise.

Remote Work Productivity: Case Studies

One of my clients, a mid-size IT services company, found that their employees were able to accomplish more in less time when working from home. This was because they were not wasting time commuting and were able to create a comfortable and efficient work environment that suited their needs.

Similarly, a large financial services company reported that remote work led to improved focus and concentration among their employees. They found that employees were better able to stay on task and avoid distractions when working from home. This led to a significant increase in productivity and helped the company to achieve its goals.

Furthermore, companies that offer remote work opportunities are able to save on cost-of-living expenses by hiring workers in lower cost-of-living areas, both within the US and internationally, to secure top talent at a lower cost. This is a major factor that led one of my clients, a late-stage software-as-a-service startup, to offer all-remote positions. Such cost savings lead to a more productive use of financial and human resources.

Remote Work Leads to Improved Work-life Balance

Another benefit of remote work is that it leads to improved work-life balance, which prevents burnout and thus increases productivity and retention alike. A mid-size retail company found that remote work allowed their back-office employees to better balance their work and personal responsibilities. This led to happier and more fulfilled employees, which in turn led to better productivity and performance.

Similarly, a large healthcare tech company reported that remote work allowed their employees to better manage their time and energy. They found that remote work led to fewer distractions and interruptions, which allowed employees to focus on their work and personal responsibilities more effectively.

Ensuring Remote Work Productivity

To fully realize the benefits of remote work, businesses need to ensure that their employees are equipped with the right tools and resources. This includes providing employees with the necessary technology to work remotely, such as laptops, internet connectivity, and collaboration tools. Businesses also need to provide their employees with the necessary training and support to work effectively and efficiently.

In addition, businesses need to establish clear communication channels and protocols to ensure that employees can effectively collaborate and stay connected with their colleagues, even when working remotely. This includes regular team meetings, virtual check-ins, and other forms of communication that allow employees to stay connected and stay informed about what is happening in the company.

Conclusion

Remote work productivity is a key to success in the modern business world. The benefits of remote work, including increased productivity, improved focus and concentration, and improved work-life balance, are too significant to be ignored. Business leaders who want to stay competitive and succeed in the long term should seriously consider implementing remote work policies in their companies.

Key Take-Away

Remote workers are 9% more productive than office workers and willing to accept lower wages for the flexibility. To ensure remote work productivity, businesses should provide the necessary tools, training, and communication channels… >Click to tweet

 

Image credit: EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA/Pexels
Originally published in Disaster Avoidance Experts
Bio: Dr. Gleb Tsipursky helps leaders use hybrid work to improve retention and productivity while cutting costs. He serves as the CEO of the boutique future-of-work consultancy Disaster Avoidance Experts. He is the best-selling author of 7 books, including the global best-sellersNever Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters andThe Blindspots Between Us: How to Overcome Unconscious Cognitive Bias and Build Better Relationships. His newest book isLeading Hybrid and Remote Teams: A Manual on Benchmarking to Best Practices for Competitive Advantage. His cutting-edge thought leadership was featured in over 650 articles and 550 interviews inHarvard Business Review,Forbes,Inc. Magazine,USA Today,CBS News,Fox News,Time,Business Insider,Fortune, and elsewhere. His writing was translated into Chinese, Korean, German, Russian, Polish, Spanish, French, and other languages. His expertise comes from over 20 years of consulting, coaching, and speaking and training for Fortune 500 companies from Aflac to Xerox, and over 15 years in academia as a behavioral scientist at UNC-Chapel Hill and Ohio State. A proud Ukrainian American, Dr. Gleb lives in Columbus, Ohio.
About Dr. Gleb Tsipursky
Known as the Disaster Avoidance Expert, Dr. Gleb Tsipursky is on a mission to protect leaders from dangerous judgment errors known as cognitive biases, which devastate bottom lines and bring down high-flying careers. His expertise and passion is developing the most effective and profitable decision-making strategies, based on pragmatic business experience and cutting-edge behavioral economics and cognitive neuroscience, to empower leaders to avoid business disasters and maximize their bottom lines. You can learn more here https://disasteravoidanceexperts.com/glebtsipursky/ The bestselling author of several books, Dr. Tsipursky is best known for his national bestseller on avoiding disasters and achieving success in business and other life areas, The Truth Seeker’s Handbook: A Science-Based Guide. His next book, Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters, is forthcoming with Career Press in November 2019. It’s the first book to focus on cognitive biases in business leadership and reveal how leaders can overcome these dangerous judgment errors effectively. After that he’s publishing The Blindspots Between Us: How to Overcome Unconscious Cognitive Bias and Build Better Relationships with New Harbinger in April 2020, the first book to focus on cognitive biases in professional and personal relationships and illustrate how we can defeat these dangerous judgment errors in our relationships. See more information here https://disasteravoidanceexperts.com/author-page/ Dr. Tsipursky’s cutting-edge thought leadership was featured in over 400 articles he published and over 350 interviews he gave to popular venues that include Fast Company, CBS News, Time, Scientific American, Psychology Today, The Conversation, Business Insider, Government Executive, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Inc. Magazine, and many others, as you can see here https://disasteravoidanceexperts.com/media/ Dr. Tsipursky's expertise comes from over 20 years of consulting, coaching, speaking, and training for businesses and nonprofits. He serves as the CEO of the boutique consulting, coaching, and training firm Disaster Avoidance Experts, which uses a proprietary methodology based on groundbreaking research to help leaders and organizations maximize their bottom lines by addressing potential threats, seizing unexpected opportunities, and resolving persistent personnel problems. His clients include Aflac, Balance Employment Assistance Provider, Edison Welding Institute, Fifth Third Bank, Honda, IBM, International Coaches Federation, Ohio Hospitals Association, National Association of Women Business Owners, Sentinel Real Estate, The Society for Human Resource Management, RealManage, The Columbus Foundation, Vistage, Wells Fargo, the World Wildlife Fund, and over a hundred others who achieve outstanding client results. You can learn more about that here: https://disasteravoidanceexperts.com/about Dr. Tsipursky also has a strong research and teaching background in behavioral economics and cognitive neuroscience with over 15 years in academia, including 7 years as a professor at the Ohio State University and before that a Fellow at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. His dozens of peer-reviewed academic publications include journals such as Behavior and Social Issues, Journal of Social and Political Psychology, and International Journal of Existential Psychology and Psychotherapy. His civic service includes over 4 years as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Intentional Insights, an educational nonprofit advocating for research-based decision-making in all life areas. He also co-founded the Pro-Truth Pledge, a civic project to promote truthfulness and integrity for individual professionals and leaders in the same way that the Better Business Bureau serves as a commitment for businesses. He serves on the Advisory Board of Canonical Debate Lab and Planet Purpose, and is on the Editorial Board of the peer-reviewed journal Behavior and Social Issues. A highly in-demand international speaker, Dr. Tsipursky has over two decades of professional speaking experience across North America, Europe, and Australia. He gets top marks from audiences for his highly facilitative, interactive, and humor-filled speaking style and the way he thoroughly customizes speeches for diverse audiences. Meeting planners describe Dr. Tsipursky as "very relatable," as "a snap to work with," and as someone who "does everything that you would want a speaker to do." Drawing on best practices in adult learning, his programs address the wide spectrum of diverse learning styles, as attested by enthusiastic client testimonials and references. He regularly shares the stage with prominent leaders, for example recently speaking on a roundtable panel with the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Elhadj As Sy, Chancellor of Austria Brigitte Bierlein, CEO of Penguin Random House Markus Dohle, and billionaire philanthropist and Chair of the Bertelsmann Management Company Liz Mohn. You can learn more about his speaking and see videos here: https://disasteravoidanceexperts.com/speaking/ Dr. Tsipursky earned his PhD in the History of Behavioral Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2011, his M.A. at Harvard University in 2004, and his B.A. at New York University in 2002. He lives in and travels from Columbus, OH. In his free time, he enjoys tennis, hiking, and playing with his two cats, and most importantly, he makes sure to spend abundant quality time with his wife to avoid disasters in his personal life. Learn more about him at https://DisasterAvoidanceExperts.com/GlebTsipursky, contact him at Gleb[at]DisasterAvoidanceExperts[dot]com, follow him on Instagram @dr_gleb_tsipursky and Twitter @gleb_tsipursky. Most importantly, help yourself avoid disasters and maximize success, and get a free copy of the “Assessment on Dangerous Judgment Errors in the Workplace,” by signing up for his free Wise Decision Maker Course at https:// DisasterAvoidanceExperts.com/Subscribe You can read more about the author here.
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