Blog

6 March 2017
Working from home vs Working at the office

Is working from home as productive as working in the office?

There have always been mixed views whether working from home can be more productive than working in the office. Both places offer distractions, but depending on the individual’s work ethic, then working from home can be beneficial, especially if working on a project that requires concentration and little disturbances. While some people swear by 40 hours a week in the office, there is growing support for workers who find they are more productive working from home. Which side of the table do you sit on?

Recent studies have supported the idea that working from home – for the right people – can increase productivity and decrease stress. New research conducted by CartridgePeople.com, has found that contrary to popular belief, home working provides a more productive environment than the office. But how so? The survey of 1,135 British workers, made up of both home and office workers, revealed that home workers experience three times fewer disturbances and distractions during their working day than their office-based counterparts.

With video chats, conference calls, VPN networks, and wireless internet, we can constantly stay connected as though we were sitting in our office rather than at home.

Andrew Davies, a spokesperson for CartridgePeople.com, commented:

“There is a common misconception that offices are a more productive working environment. It’s clear that distractions in the office are a bit of an issue for many workers. Employers looking to reduce this problem could provide their workers with opportunities to occasionally work from home – particularly when working on complex projects requiring a lot of concentration; and if this isn’t an option they could create quiet spaces or break out areas for staff to use to focus on their work, away from distractions.”

The survey revealed that:

  • 1 in 3 (33%) office based workers admitted that they experience an average of 10 or more distractions during their working day.
  • Cold callers were the number one distraction for home workers (56%), closely followed by deliveries (54%).
  • 45% confessed that their partner often distracted them by trying to talk to them when working from home.
  • More than a third (34%) of home workers said they were able to ignore such distractions while working from home.

The productivity of work depends on several factors:

  1. The work ethics and work habits of the person…this varies from one person to the next. (some people thrive in an environment of having others around for help in generating ideas, motivation by seeing others working hard, dressing in professional attire versus sitting at home in your sweatpants, etc.)
  2. The nature of the work. Some work may require more concentration than others and the slightest distraction could affect the output of the work.
  3. The set up of the home office environment and the presence of outside distractions (home life situation…kids, no kids, pets, other housemates).

Research also suggests companies that encourage and support a work from home protocol actually save money in the long run; an added bonus on the employer side. This is a conversation that needs to happen between the employer and employee, but the occasional working from home day could benefit both parties.

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