This just in…a new study published by Stanford indicates working from home results in a spike of productivity and happiness.
Keep in mind the study was only conducted at one company. The 10-month research study was conducted at CTrip.com, a Shanghai-based company. Researchers compared productivity of employees who worked from home four days a week with workers who performed the same task inside office walls.
As for the end result? People who worked from home were more productive. They answered more calls and worked longer hours mainly because they took shorter breaks. Also, they didn’t use as much sick time as their counterparts did in the office. Home dwellers also reported being happier and fewer quiet.
Essentially, it’s in the company’s best interest to have home workers. In addition to value added, the company saves about $2,000 per employee by having them work from their abode.
So, although the study may sound great on the surface, there seem to be a few loopholes. Home employees in the study essentially raised their hand for wanting to work from home. They were selected from a larger group who sought the work arrangement. So, perhaps their productivity and happiness was already boosted since they got what they wanted or at least got to try what they raised their hand to attempt.
Let’s not forget about post-study information either. After the study was completed, half of the employees who worked from home decided to return to their office environment even though there was an added cost of commuting. According to one of the researchers, they got lonely.
In this particular case, one researcher concluded flexibility for employees is key where they prefer to work because it will help retention.