by Kate Lister
Harvard study examines work from anywhere vs. work from home vs. working from an office and uncovers new findings.
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’s what they found:
-WFA employees who lived within a reasonable distance from colleagues, may form remote connections which, in one department (the Art department) led to increased productivity
-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 their 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
The study estimated the outcomes of PTO’s remote worker program to include $1.3B in increased productivity, $38M in real estate savings, reduced travel totaling 84 million miles, and reducing emissions by 44k tons.