Matt | 10 June 2020

Can Remote Working Improve Efficiency And Productivity?

Remote working has grown in popularity in recent years and has been accelerated even more so by the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic. Working from home was once considered just a pipe dream for many workers, but it has quickly become a normal and natural part of the work environment. As technology has improved, almost every occupation and industry can make the most of remote working.

There are endless benefits to both employees and employers to working from home, but many businesses are concerned over productivity levels. It is a common misconception that remote workers will slack off, spend all day in pyjamas, and not work as efficiently as they would in an office environment. In actual fact, remote working can boost efficiency and productivity among workers.

Remote Working Studies Prove Productivity Increases

Back in 2012, a landmark study by Stanford looked in detail at how workers operated when working remotely. The study involved 16,000 participants and was carried out by Nicholas Bloom, a Stanford professor, and his graduate student James Liang.

Liang was co-founder and CEO of China’s largest travel agency, Ctrip. He wanted to introduce a remote working policy for his employees, but first wanted substantial evidence that it wouldn’t destroy productivity levels. Over a two year period, 500 employees were split into two groups on a six-monthly basis. Half of these worked in the office, and the other half worked remotely.

The study revealed that those who worked remotely were far more productive than the office counterparts, in a result that surprised many.

How Does Remote Working Improve Productivity And Efficiency?

Despite concerns from many employers, there are a few very logical reasons why remote workers are generally more productive and efficient in their roles. Some of the main reasons behind the boost in productivity are;

Offices Are Distracting

Employers might consider their office spaces to be perfectly geared up to get the most out of their employees, but offices are often much more distracting than we think. Offices usually have constant distractions caused by other people; whether it’s a cake in the break room, office politics or a colleague’s leaving drinks, there is always something happening.

Remote working means employees are able to spend more time working in an efficient environment, without the usual office distractions.

More Working Hours

When working in an office, employees are more likely to leave early or arrive late than when working at home. There are a huge number of reasons why employees might be missing out on working time, such as being stuck in traffic, train delays or having to leave early to let the cable guy in.

Remote workers are much more likely to work their full working hours. On top of this, remote workers often take shorter breaks, take less time off and have fewer days off sick.

Increased Employee Satisfaction

Remote workers are often more satisfied in their roles than those who work in an office every day. This increase in job satisfaction has a direct impact on productivity levels because happy workers are more likely to work efficiently and effectively.

In addition to this, it can help to reduce staff turnover and improve retention rates. That means less time recruiting and training new staff and more employees that are experienced and satisfied in their roles. When employees work remotely, they do not have to worry about long commutes, running late or fitting their working hours around their schedules.

Larger Talent Pool

Productivity levels are also down to the individual employee as well as their working environment. When you have the flexibility to hire staff as remote workers, you will open up a much larger pool of talent to choose from.

The right person for the job might be based in a different city to your offices, but as a remote worker, they are still able to join the team. By getting the right people in your team, no matter where they are based, you can boost productivity levels to no end.

Remote Working Offers Fulfilment For Employees

When employees are fulfilled in their role, then it is likely to result in improved productivity levels. A recent report published by AngelList and Buffer revealed that the most significant benefits to employees for working remotely included a flexible schedule, a flexible workplace, and not having to commute.

All of these benefits focus on autonomy, and with autonomy comes a real sense of fulfilment. Workers will feel more inspired and ready to reach their full potential and work hard because they are working in an environment that enriches them more than just monetarily.

Managing Remote Working Fulfilment

This sense of fulfilment is not automatic when offered remote working, and employers should bear in mind that remote working can be isolating. When employees feel isolated or undervalued, it can have a negative impact on morale and productivity. Allowing employees, the freedom to come and work in the office once a week or once a month can help combat this. For businesses where this isn’t possible, it can be worthwhile battling this isolation in other ways, such as with regular meetups, group video calling and retreats.

Further training and learning is another great way to boost productivity and morale among remote workers. When a business invests in training for employees, it leaves them feeling valued and fulfilled. On top of this, improved education and knowledge in their role can help boost productivity and efficiency.

Here at TSG Training, we understand the importance of ongoing training and have produced many online and virtual courses that can be done alongside remote working. Our courses, such as ISTQB Foundation in Software Testing, offer the necessary foundation for a successful career in software testing. Agile PM Foundation E-Learning is perfect for those working in a project-focused environment that want to adopt Agile practices.

In addition to our many online and virtual training courses, TSG Training also offers free webinars which introduce our courses and provide a taster to see if it is the right option for you and your team. On 1st July, we will be holding our BCS Foundation in AI webinar, which introduces our recently launched Foundation in AI course.