Thanks to COVID-19, working from the comfort of your home is a new reality for many. It’s also something many workers have been dreaming of; flexible hours, no morning or afternoon traffic jams, more time for friends and family — remote workers are experiencing numerous benefits.
Of course, the circumstances surrounding the lockdown have changed things a bit. Flexible working hours mean a lot less when you can’t leave your home. And for those who wanted more time with their families, things aren’t as rosy as expected. Now, you’ve got time to spend with your kids. However, having them home all day does wear your patience thin. After all, finding a way to work from home when your kids want your full attention can be challenging. Still, you have to agree that staying home keeps your family safer from the virus.
Despite a few drawbacks, no one can deny the remote workers’ increase in productivity scores compared to their office-based counterparts. So, what is the catch with the 83% increase in productivity? If there even is a catch at all.
Workplace distractions, lack of motivation, commuting, and health issues are the top four reasons why US employers lost billions back in 2018. No matter what kinds of benefits companies have to offer, office workers usually experience a significant productivity dip.
Better Time Management
Even though telecommuters work 16.8 days more per year than in-office employees, they manage their time better. Office workers take shorter breaks as opposed to remote workers who take longer breaks. Believe it or not, longer breaks increase productivity.
Better time management can mean one more thing — there’s enormous potential for creating an online business while still working from home. After all, according to Entrepreneur Stats, there are 582 million entrepreneurs globally, and a few more couldn’t hurt. Even though failure is a real possibility, there’s no better feeling than developing a lucrative business and finally quitting the 9–5 rut.
No Workplace Distractions
Speaking of distractions, remote workers lose 27 minutes per day on distractions, while office workers lose 37 minutes. That is 10 productive minutes more per day and more than an hour per week.
Remote work can make maintaining healthy co-worker relationships tougher. However, it also makes social distancing a lot easier. Certainly, remote employees have other types of distractions at home, but talking to other co-workers, mostly about things that are not related to work, can take up to 66 minutes per day.
The number of distractions depends on the profession, as well. For instance, managers get more distracted than non-managers when working in the office. They spend, on average, 70 minutes a day talking about topics that are unrelated to work. On the other hand, remote workers save 22 minutes daily, since they have no distractions of the sort.
Remote workers have found ways to manage tasks more efficiently. They set their working hours by preference, use time trackers, and make to-do lists. Also, studies have shown that some office workers try to avoid working actively, even after installing a mouse or screen tracking software.
At least one out of four employees would quit their job due to long commuting. Considering that an average worker spends between one and two hours commuting, it’s no wonder that 60% of in-office employees are thinking about switching to a remote position.
More Spare Time
Saving on fuel, which can cost more than $4,500 annually, is a significant financial gain for most remote workers that drive. Yet, these $4,500 pale in comparison to one or two extra hours a day they can spend on their favorite activities. With less commuting, the average employee has 17 days extra per year as a result.
Moreover, not everyone goes to the gym, but still, both remote and in-office employees spend some time exercising each week. However, once again, numbers differ between these two categories. On average, remote employees spend 25 minutes more on physical activities than their office-based counterparts.
Is it hard to guess what makes remote workers more productive than office workers? Combining all these factors that affect motivation, concentration, and productivity, remote employees benefit on multiple levels, which applies to their superiors as well.
In this article, we discussed an important aspect of work — productivity. Working remotely came as a revolutionary change and shook up the job market. The debate on the pros and cons of this new way of running businesses is never-ending.
No one can deny what stats show. Each day, thousands of people are switching to working from their homes. COVID-19 has only accelerated the process. Once we beat the virus, we might even see it become the new business norm.
It is a win-win situation for many, but it does not have to be for everyone. Choose your career path wisely, craft it to the lifestyle that best suits your personality, and you will be productive for sure.