Working from home (WFH) used to be a luxury that few companies offered, especially full-time. However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses to find remote solutions for employees.
Businesses and employees soon discovered working from home was more beneficial than they thought. Not only were workers more productive, but they also reported better job satisfaction. Recent WFH statistics make a compelling case for the value of remote work.
#1: 62.5 Million Fewer Commuting Hours Per Workday in the U.S.
It's no surprise that working from home eliminates commuting, but how many hours do at-home employees actually save? According to a survey of more than 30,000 U.S. workers conducted by economists Jose N. Barrero, Nicholas Bloom, and Steven J. Davis, the shift to remote work resulted in 62.5 million fewer hours of commuting every day.
What's more, researchers found that employees used approximately 35% of that saved time on their job. People dedicated the rest of the time saved to household chores, extra time with family, or leisure activities. Eliminating can result in improved productivity, better work-life balance, and increased job satisfaction.
#2: 20% More Likely to Complete Daily Tasks
You may think that working from home introduces more distractions, less motivation, and less productivity. However, in a March 2020 remote work survey by Rescue Time, remote workers were 20% more likely to say they completed all their daily tasks every day or most days.
Compare that statistic to 17% of in-office workers who say they completed all their work each day. It's clear that more people feel more accomplished when they work at home.
#3: 58 More Hours Spent on Core Work
The same Rescue Time survey found that over the 261 days worked per year (the annual average), remote workers spent 58 more hours, on average, on core work. Core work includes tasks included in their job description — such as writing for writers, designing for graphic designers, and developing for web developers. That's an average 4% increase in productive time every day.
The study also found that these remote workers then spent 256 fewer hours on communications such as emails, calls, and meetings over those 261 days. That's an 18% decrease in time spent on communications every day.
#4: 37 Less Minutes Per Day Chatting with Colleagues
Those of us who have worked in an office knows that some of our days is spent chatting about non-work-related topics with co-workers. Of course, this is crucial to a positive work culture and team building, but it's not very productive in terms of work output. So, how do remote workers compare to those chatty Kathys in the office?
According to an Airtasker survey, remote workers only spent 29 minutes per day talking about non-work-related topics with colleagues, whereas office workers spent 66 minutes per day doing the same. That means remote workers spent 37 fewer minutes chatting. Instead, they opted to spend that time on work-related tasks.
#5: 26% Say Their Job is More Flexible
According to a study published by the American Sociological Association, 26% of survey respondents would say their job is more flexible now than before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Think about it. Working from home may allow you to set different "office hours," take more relaxing breaks, be less distracted, and be more focused. Also, if you tend to do your best work in the evening, you can do that with ease instead of feeling confined to designated in-office hours.
Without question, the flexibility of WFH arrangements offer can help people feel more productive and happier with their performance
#6: 20% Say They Have Better Work-Life Balance
In some cases, achieving work-life balance can be challenging for remote workers since both work and life fall, quite literally, under the same roof. The good news is that 20% of survey respondents say they have a better work-life balance.
Further backing up this claim, the remote worker survey by Rescue Time found that only 39% of remote workers spent more than eight hours per day working compared to 60% who put in more than eight hours in the office per day.
Of course, this requires some discipline, but how wonderful it is to be working one minute and eating dinner with your family the next? Working at home allows you to optimize every hour of your day.
#7: 8% Increase in Job Satisfaction
The American Sociological Association study found that 8% of respondents reported increased job satisfaction. Given the many benefits WFH offers, it's no surprise that people are happy when they have the option to work remotely.
If you find yourself being more productive daily, experiencing fewer distractions, and eliminating commuting, you can focus on the positive elements of your job. Higher job satisfaction is a natural result, and lower attrition can follow.
#8: Employees Want to Work from Home 2.5 Days Per Week on Average
So, how should companies accommodate the changing workforce? According to research from Barrero, Bloom, and Davis, employees want to work from home an average of 2.5 days per week. Some companies have embraced this new hybrid work model, while others want to stick with the five-day in-office work week model.
Unfortunately, the old full-time model may lead to higher turnover, according to Barrero, Bloom, and Davis' research. The researchers found that four in 10 Americans who currently work at least one day per week from home would look for a new job if their employer required them to return to the office full-time.
Working from Home Is the New Normal
Although there will always be some roles where full-time in-person work is necessary, companies have learned that people can work at home and deliver results. Increased productivity, job satisfaction, and better work-life balance are compelling reasons to support remote work arrangements, both for yourself and your solution provider partners.
At Helpware, our remote workforce provides professional front-office and back-office solutions. We believe that when our people thrive, our clients thrive, and stand by this commitment every day. Contact us to learn how to put the power of people as a service to work for your organization.