For years, the common misconception about remote, at-home employees was that they’re lazy, unproductive and indifferent. The work from home employee was thought to just wear their pajamas all day, wake up at noon and complete assignments whenever they felt like it.
However, that notion is starting to dwindle as a new study has discovered remote professionals are actually more productive than their office counterparts, and this opinion is shared by those on-site individuals.
According to a new study conducted by Dell and Intel, more than half of employees internationally now think their work from home colleagues are just as productive or even more so than those who work at a corporate office.
How do remote employees feel? The study found that they believe they can get a lot more work accomplished within the comfort of their own home. For those who spend time working from home, half of them think they’re more productive in their residence than in the office, and more than one-third (36 percent) say they’re productive in both locations. Fourteen percent conceded to getting less work done at home.
Indeed, there are a wide variety of benefits to working from home. Study participants cited feeling less stress (46 percent), commuting less (40 percent) and getting more sleep (30 percent). Of course, working from home does have its downsides.
The report noted that more than 80 percent of work from home employees said other people in the house during their working hours, such as their children and spouses, are distracting. And when it comes to their health, 38 percent said they snack more and 20 percent exercise less. In terms of their career, one-fifth believed not working in the office hurt their career growth, and nearly one-quarter (23 percent) maintain there are fewer opportunities for advancement for those who work from home.
At the same time, on-site employees can experience more distractions than remote workers. The report showed 48 percent are regularly interrupted by their colleagues, while more than half (51 percent) are always communicating with those near by through email or instant messaging.
Work from home has become the trend in a lot of businesses today. With employees having superior computers and high-speed Internet, companies are experimenting with this flexible work option. Research has highlighted that employees spend an average of 32 hours per week at the office, but spend an additional five hours working from their living quarters each week.
"If you’re in the knowledge work business, you work in the tech field or in the creative and arts field, I think it’s safe to say that there’s been a great more blurring of work," said Genevieve Bell, U.S. director of user experience for Intel Corp., in an interview with Business News Daily. "It no longer just happens in the office — it follows you home; it follows you to other places."
As cloud computing becomes ubiquitous in the workforce, telecommuting has become even more common since employees can access data, worksheets and information anywhere and at anytime on their smartphones, personal computers, tablets and other mobile devices.
"As the key provider of mobile technology, its critical to keep a pulse on the changing landscape so we can continue to provide the right solutions and services for the evolving workforce," Steve Lalla, vice president and general manager of Cloud Client Computing at Dell, told TechZone360. "And as the research shows, now more than ever, the "office" isn’t defined by a desk within an employer’s walls. With constant connectivity blurring the lines between professional and personal lives and devices, it’s essential employees have seamless access to data when at the office, at home and on the road so they can stay productive, and IT secures and manages the data and user wherever it goes."
The study was conducted with 4,764 full-time employees working in small, medium and large businesses in 12 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, Germany and Japan.