Harvard study reveals surprising impacts when employees are allowed to work not just from home, but anywhere
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.
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.
“We have listened and learned,” CEO Charlie Scharf said in an email to employees worldwide.
U.K. employees were reportedly so distressed by the move they were considering legal action. "We did not fully appreciate the level of impact this would have on those employees with existing arrangements,” said CEO Scharf. He originally backed the move citing increased collaboration and quicker decision making, but after the employee outcry, announced he was rethinking the move.
Transitioning to a virtual workforce can be beneficial for nonprofits and for-profits alike. Consider these tips for making sure the process is a smooth one.
RA 11165 or An Act Institutionalizing Telecommuting as an Alternative Work Arrangement for Employees in the Private Sector encourages employers to adopt telecommuting - a work arrangement that allows an employee to work from an alternative workplace with the use of telecommunication and/or computer technologies.
The new law does not require employers to offer telecommuting, it simply requires that if they do, they ensure they are treated no differently than other employees. It specifically mentions having appropriate training, technology, and access to colleagues and advancement opportunities. These have proven critical to the success of work-at-home programs in the U.S. and elsewhere, so it's good to see them baked into law.
Reducing traffic and improving work-life balance are the primary drivers of the telecommuting law.
Finding the right balance between working from home and logging time at the office requires the right insight.
Everyone seems to try to make this a polar argument. The research is clearly showing a mix of working at home or a third place works best when combined with time in the office.
About 135 million Americans commute to work, and according to a 2016 survey by research firm Global Workplace Analytics (GWA), 50 percent of them have jobs they could do remotely at least part time. If all those workers skipped the commute just every other day, we could reduce greenhouse gas emissions as much as we would by taking 9 million cars off the road.
The article points to employer and employee benefits of remote work including reduced work-life conflict, lower greenhouse gas emissions, a reduction on the outbound migration of talent, and even...increased voter turnout!
As part of Work & Family Month we’ve teamed with WorldAtWork to make a customizable version of our Workplace Savings Calculator™ available. Here’s a short video about the calculator. The calculator is here. Our full custom Workplace Savings Calculators™ are normally available only to clients, but in cooperation with WorldatWork and in honor of Work & Family Month (October), we’re making the Calculator below available to the public with...
People who work from home as freelancers often find jobs related to the Internet, no surprise that. But last quarter, Freelancer.com was surprised to find Apple iOS jobs grew 30%, faster than Android, with just 20% growth. That’s after they predicted Android would be the runaway winner in growth. Freelancer.com Chief Executive, Matt Barrie said, â€œWe truly are at an inflexion point of the technology landscape. We’re...