Home office and remote work are no new trends, but it was the Corona crisis that triggered a major debate on the subject. Now the German Minister of Labor wants to introduce a right for home offices, with Twitter all employees will be able to decide for themselves in the future whether they work in the office or from home, and our innovation workshops are also in many cases deliberately held online.
However, there is still a lot of uncertainty in many companies about home offices. In addition to questions about the right IT infrastructure, data security and proof of working hours, many discussions revolve around the productivity of employees working from home.
A Chinese experiment shows interesting findings about Remote Work.
Stanford professor Nicholas Bloom conducted a nine-month study in cooperation with Ctrip, China’s largest travel agency with 16,000 employees. The study divided 500 employees into two groups – a control group (who continued to work in the office) and employees who volunteered to work from home. While Bloom started his study “DOES WORKING FROM HOME WORK? EVIDENCE FROM A CHINESE EXPERIMENT” he assumed that the productivity of both groups would be similar, the results showed a different picture.
The group of homeworkers completed their working hours in full, took shorter breaks, had fewer sick days and generally took less vacation. While the office workers came to the office late or left too early on average several times a week. They also found that working at home was less distracting. In addition, teleworker turnover dropped by 50 percent and Ctrip saved nearly $2,000 per employee in rent by reducing office space at headquarters. Nevertheless, the study found that more than half of the home workers did not want to work 100 percent from home because they felt too isolated.
Home office and office work – the balance makes the difference
It is not only the above-mentioned study that shows the advantages for employees and employers. A study on “Does Employee Happiness have an Impact on Productivity?” by Oxford University also confirms that happier employees are more productive. An employee can gain self-confidence from the trust placed in his or her work by the employer. The chance to react quickly without major hurdles to situations such as a child’s illness reduces stress for employees who would otherwise have to choose between family and work. For employees who have problems with morning concentration, the elimination of the need to travel to work can be a significant factor in motivation and creativity. For introverted employees, the choice between an open-plan office and a home office can also be a driver for better performance and more concentrated work. The crucial thing is to find the right balance between office work and home office in order to avoid the feeling of employee isolation shown in the study.
COVID-19 – driver for digital working methods
As Christian Buchholz mentions in his article “What we have learned after 3 months in digital workshops“, in future not only the question “How can I use the possibilities of digital technologies to achieve even better results in meetings and workshops? but “How can I use the possibilities of digital technologies for my company and my employees to achieve even better results? . The digital change has been accelerated considerably by the current situation. In the future, virtual collaboration will be an essential part of our work and the ability to do so a competence that every employee in the company should learn.