A job where you get to work from home, lying on your couch, in sweatpants sounds like a dream right? Maybe even the dream? Well, according to recent research, you shouldn’t just be fantasizing about it. An experiment conducted with Chinese travel agency Ctrip found that employees who worked from home were more productive and reported higher work satisfaction than those who worked in the office, the Harvard Business Review reported.
Some employees volunteered to work from home (WFH), and others were selected at random to either work from home or work in the office as part of the control group. Every other aspect of the two groups’ work days were the same — same manager, same work, same computer systems, same shift length — they were just physically in different locations.
Over nine months, the WFH employees saw a 13% increase in work performance, which was attributed to taking less breaks and fewer sick days. They were also more productive per minute, thanks to the quiet atmosphere that can only be found in an office of one. And, not surprisingly, the WFH group had lower staff turnover (they stayed at their jobs longer), higher work satisfaction, and lower levels of “work exhaustion.”Anyone who is lucky enough to have a job where they can work from home either full-time or every once and a while can attest to how much better it makes your work life. But interestingly, half the WFH group wanted to go back to the office at the end of the experiment. The main reason? Being alone every single day gets a little bit lonely.
So it might not be for everyone. But if employers want their employees to be more productive and be happier while doing their work, implementing some sort of work from home policy is an easy way to do it. More flexibility can go a very long way, and when the benefits for output are so numerous, it seems like a no-brainer to us.