Are remote workers more productive than office workers?

remote workers

In recent years, flexible and remote working has become a much more popular choice for workers worldwide. According to powwownow, 67% of employees wished they were offered flexible working in their jobs. We’re going to take a look behind the scenes as to why people prefer remote over office work. And whether there are enough facts and figures to back up the notion that remote workers are more productive than office workers.

Why people prefer work remotely

Remote working has become a lot more accessible due to modern technology. Employees and employers are no longer solely reliant on telephone conversations, with the introduction of email, video conferencing, cloud file sharing, and online chat software. Most office-based jobs and tasks can now be performed just as easily at home, offering added benefits of:

  • Reduced office costs (electricity, gas, space, etc.).
  • Reduced commuting costs.
  • Flexible work/home lifestyle.
remote workers productivity remotely

So, although the points above all sound very inviting, would allowing your employees to work remotely benefit the company in any way? Are employees going to be more relaxed in the way that they work because they’re not in an office? Co-founder of Chinese travel website Ctrip, James Liang, and Nicholas Bloom performed a study to determine whether remote workers were more productive than office workers. The results of the study showed that people working from home made 13.5% more calls than office-based staff, with an estimated saving of $1,900 per employee over the nine-month period.

Remote workers vs. office workers

As with most things, there are pros and cons to remote working versus working in an office. Remote workers are given more freedom in their personal lives by working from home. Which making it easier to do the school run, pick up groceries, and save on commuting costs. It also provides workers with the ability to work from anywhere in the world. As long as they can still communicate with their fellow employees and perform their day-to-day job, which can be a very fruitful prospect.

office remote workers productivity

In 2016, 509 full-time remote working U.S. employees completed a survey (“What Leaders Need To Know About Remote Workers“), with some interesting results:

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, answering “How happy are you at work”, remote workers scored 8.10, whereas other workers scored 7.42.
  • 91% of remote workers felt they were more productive than if they were to work in an office.
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, answering “How valued to you feel at work?”, remote workers scored 7.75, whereas other workers scored 6.69.

Because the results above are based on answers to a survey, provided by employees, the data is less accurate. However, the figures shouldn’t be ignored. The results show that in general, remote workers are happier at work, feel more valued, and feel that they are more productive compared to being in an office. In a 2015 survey, Michael Fitzpatrick, CEO of ConnectSolutions found that there was a significant increase in employee motivation and efficiency in remote workers, where 52% were reported to take less time off compared to office workers.

Remote work is not for every company

The research is certainly stacking up in favor of remote workers being more productive than office workers. So why aren’t all office-based companies allowing their employees to work from home? The bottom line is that not all office-based jobs are suited to remote working. For example, call center work relies on using a hosted phone system to take calls, respond quickly to customers, and interact with team members almost constantly to ensure response times and targets are adhered to. Although technology has advanced so much of late that this scenario probably could be done in a remote working environment. It would be much harder for team leaders, managers, and the company itself to keep track of every individual persons’ call records, and communication.

remote teams remote workers productivity

Remote working may also not be suitable for everyone. Some people enjoy the prospect of entering an office and being able to have actual in-person conversations with their co-workers. Others may not be in a position to work from home due to their living environment. And some frankly may work better in an office if they don’t have the willpower or discipline to work from home. However, for those that are happy to work from home, the opportunities available are most certainly increasing.

Digital nomads

There’s no doubt that the digital nomad population has risen, and is continuing to grow. The prospects and opportunities for younger workers and graduates to conduct their work flexibly is naturally very inviting. Long gone are the days of working 9-5 in the place you grew up. Or commuting into the city in order to earn a better wage. In fact, companies are saving money by allowing their staff to work remotely, offering better benefits and salaries, whilst still saving overall. As we’ve seen, productivity isn’t the only benefit gained by employers and employees from allowing remote working.

James Wilson from UK Web Host Review says that employing freelancers is a great way to expand his network. As well as giving people the opportunity to work from wherever they feel comfortable, remotely. Freelancing goes one step further than remote working, allowing people to use or gain skills in specific subject areas, and work with multiple people at any given time.

digital nomads remote workers productivity

The facts, figures, and studies speak a thousand words. But also a little common sense can explain why remote workers and more productive than office workers. We can guarantee that almost every worker at some point or another has woken up feeling a little tired or lacking the motivation to go to their office-based job. So instead, they call in sick. Things are a little different when remote working. Especially if that work is performed in your own office or house. It’s harder to pull a sicky and use the excuse that you don’t want to spread your cold germs to your co-workers!

Surprisingly, you’ll also find that those who work from home tend not to take a lunch break. If you’re in the comfort of your own home, you may perform the odd chore. But if there’s no one else to physically go and communicate with, it’s easy to get carried away and continue working through your lunch. This is obviously not advisable, as everyone needs a break. But more often than not it does happen with remote workers.

Sum up

Working from home, or remotely, may not be the right choice for everyone. And there’s still a lot of research to be conducted in order to establish whether remote workers are more productive than office works, for definite. However, the existing evidence certainly stacks up in favor of remote working. And provides lots of advantages for those who decide to, or have the option to become a remote worker.

About the author:

Jann Chambers is a Content Writer at – She is committed to providing all you need to know about technology along with researching and analysing the best hosting providers.

The content published on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

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