Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Telecommuting and Productivity

In my new job, I've had the opportunity to work from home (or elsewhere) quite a bit. Everyone always tells me that they could never work from home and be productive but I always retort that I'm actually really productive working from home--sometimes even more productive. The Smithsonian via their Surprising Science blog took a look at telecommuting the scientific way, and has some results that may support my own findings:
After a few weeks of the experiment, it was clear that the telecommuters were performing better than their counterparts in the office. They took more calls (it was quieter and there were fewer distractions at home) and worked more hours (they lost less time to late arrivals and sick breaks) and more days (fewer sick days). This translated into greater profits for the company because more calls equaled more sales. The telecommuters were also less likely to quit their jobs, which meant less turnover for the company.
Of course, as the article states, working from a place other than the office is not for everyone and most would like it to be a temporary condition. I like working from home for the flexibility, the lack of commute, and the ability to work in my PJs. But I miss the resources of an office including co-workers, technology, and the ability to have meetings in person. So for as much as I like staying at home while I work with my dog at my feet, I also need a break from that every once in a while.

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