If you work in an office, there’s a good chance you’ve daydreamed about what it might be like to do your job from home. Those fantasies might including curling up with your laptop while still wearing your pajamas, cuddling with your dog when you take a business call, or ditching your half-hour commute in favor of a 10-second walk to the “office.” However, many businesses put the kibosh on telecommuting because they fear their employees will be less productive when they’re surrounded by the distractions of home. According to a recent study from Stanford, that couldn’t be more wrong.
Inc. magazine reports that a two-year-long experiment conducted by Stanford professor Nicholas Bloom, which surveyed 249 office and stay-at-home workers from a Shanghai call center, showed that telecommuters are 13% more productive than office workers. Bloom reported that “office and home workers used the same IT equipment, faced the same work order flow from a common central server, carried out the same tasks, and were compensated under the same pay system.” Even so, the telecommuters were 50% less likely to quit, and they took shorter breaks, fewer sick days, and less time off.
The study did find one big downside to working from home: As it turns out, being cooped up in your house all day gets lonely. Apparently, more than half of the people from the call center who volunteered to work from home decided at the end of the study that it wasn’t for them, and returned to the office. If you’re thinking about making the switch, be sure to consider which environment will be the best fit for your personality.
by: Charles Jackson,