Productivity and Remote Work

Published on: 01 Apr 11:42

Remote work is a disputable topic, which can be criticized or praised from different perspectives. In this article we want to mention different aspects, which should be considered when it comes to talk about productivity and remote work.

If you look at the development of the remote work you will see several different studies, which show different results. For instance a study from Strategy Analytics from the USA says that the number of the global remote working employees with 38.8% in 2016 will increase up to 42.5% in 2022. Furthermore there are other studies from the USA and one of them state, that remote working employees value remote work in the category of flexibility as prioritized criteria. In relation to that big corporation adapted especially towards the employees demand and achieved positions for remote workers.

Basically the results of the studies show that remote work is in fact beneficial and satisfies the employees and makes them more productive. In addition to that the employers take advantage in several ways of hiring remote workers, such as saving money for rent. In consideration of that it is reasonable that satisfied employees are happy and build a firm foundation for corporations. It does not only help the corporation to reach better results but also to less sick leave and in favor brings a better atmosphere in the team and at work.

Photo by krisna iv on Unsplash

Which factors need to be considered if it is talked about the topic of productivity and remote work?

It is said that remote working employees are more efficient because of their high satisfaction towards their job and flexibility. The number of employees who quit and ask sick leave became less compared to employees who need to go in the office on a daily basis. Another point is the flexibility itself, remote working employees don’t spend their time on the way to reach the office and get stuck in the traffic or rely on the public transportation. Instead they can invest the time more meaningful in their work. Rarely people talk about trust in relation to remote work. But trust is part of the success and the increase of productivity. The trust is important based on both sides: Trusting and being trusted. That goes in line with giving the employee a specific sense of responsibility which motivates and can also improve the quality of the results.

Employees value the privilege of remote work and can adjust their daily life to some degree. They can make individual changes such as spending time with their kids and moving the time schedule for work to later hours.
Another instance is that people in the office have time slots where they are not productive but don’t have the flexibility like the remote workers and cost the corporation only money. Meanwhile the remote workers can make changes towards their productivity. Essentially this increases the profitability and productivity of the corporation as well as the increased satisfaction of the employees, hereby both sides find themselves in a win-win situation.

Even though there are plenty of positive effects, other studies proof the contrary. In a case study more than 500 employees and managers have been questioned in relation to their remote working life and the results showed that after a period of time the results decreased and reached the average level of productivity. The reasons here can be very individual and vary. A team that works from home brings automatically challenges such as coordinating people from different places and time zones – it can impair the communication. For one and another it can be a lack of direct communication and interactions with colleagues, by that the feeling of being bound to the company can decrease. But not only the lack of communication, also the feeling of loneliness and isolation can come occur.

With this background remote working places also called “Co-working Spaces” have been invented. The Co-working Spaces are made for remote working people who come together with same minded people to do their work separately but together in a community to have some exchange, interaction and communication to avoid isolation. The number of Co-working Spaces has increased in the last few years and is going to grow further. The idea arose out of the dilemma. Though remote worker should try and put effort in getting in contact with their colleagues if they have the opportunity.

In conclusion, companies have invested years in a well thought-out infrastructure to be efficient, economical, and create good conditions and freedom for employees at the same time. The efforts of companies are a nice gesture, but still the responsibility lies by the affected, remote workers. That is why it is recommended by experienced remote worker to plan and structure the day for being highly productive. This may take its time until each remote worker has found his own pace and routine. Self-regulation is an important factor that has not been cradled to everyone but that can be learned too. It is a recurring scheme that many newcomers to the remote work, who come from the standard "9-to-5" model, initially take too few breaks (as a little hint).


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