Washington: People who work from home are likely to be more productive due to quieter working conditions than those who go to office, a new study has claimed.
In the study published by Stanford, on whether employees are more or less productive at home or in the office, researchers created perhaps the first randomised study of remote work of a company.
The company was concerned about the rising costs of office space, and a 50 percent annual attrition rate. They found 255 employees in its airfare and hotel divisions who both wanted to work from home and met a few requirements to do so.
The employees had worked for the company for at least 6 months, had broadband access at home and a private room to work from, 'Wired.Com' reported.
The researchers then split those 255 volunteers into two groups: those with even-numbered birthdays would work from home four out of five days a week, and those with odd-numbered birthdays stayed in the office.
Employees who worked from home had the same supervisors (all office-based) and worked the same shifts as their counterparts to ensure a direct comparison.
During the 9-month study, the researchers found a 12 percent increase in productivity for the at-home workers.
Of that increase, 8.5 percent came from working more hours (due to shorter breaks and fewer sick days) and 3.5 percent came from more performance per minute. The researchers speculate this was due to quieter working conditions.
The work-from-home group also reported higher work satisfaction than those working in the office.
The researchers continued tracking stats for a few more months and noticed that employees who were already more productive tended to chose working from home while less-productive employees chose to stay in the office.
The study concludes that not only letting workers operate from home increase their productivity, it also helps attract (and retain) better workers for the company.
First Published: Sunday, September 2, 2012, 17:47