Harvard study reveals surprising impacts when employees are allowed to work not just from home, but anywhere
by Kate Lister
A study found that “work from anywhere” policies increased productivity.
A team from Harvard used 8 years of data from the US Patent & Trademark Office to examine the difference in outcomes between work-from-home (WFH) vs. work-from-anywhere (WFA) programs. Here are the highlights of the 50+ page study
– They confirmed earlier research showing productivity was higher for all remote workers
– The productivity increase was greatest among WFA workers (4.4% percentage points higher than WFH), and lowest among WFH who lived >50 miles from the office (with the productivity increase among those who lived <50 miles from the office falling in between)
– Older WFA workers were more likely to move out of the region (Alexandria) than younger WFA workers, but both groups experienced a reduction in the cost-of-living
– For remote workers whose job required significant interaction with colleagues, having a mandated set of IT tools increased productivity even further (3%)
– There was no decline in quality among either group of remote workers
PTO’s remote worker avoided 84 million miles of travel thus reducing emissions by 44k tons
PTO saved $38M in RE
The study valued the productivity from PTO’s remote work program at $1.3 billion. It reduced commuter travel by 84M miles and emissions by 44k tons. And it saved the agency $38M in real estate costs.