Our cladding and decking is often used in the construction of garden offices. Providing customers with a quiet space for working from home. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this trend and there’s been a shift in working practices since then. In this article we take a look at the impact of all this remote working on productivity. The findings are surprising!
Is Working From Home More Productive?
Working from home improves productivity and academic research studies and surveys show this. For example, Stanford and University of Chicago run an ongoing survey of working practices. In April 2022 remote workers reported being 9% more productive when working from home.
- Remote workers report being 9% more productive when working from home
- Six out of 10 workers say they’re more productive than expected when working from home
- During the COVID-19 pandemic most of those working from home were ‘favorably surprised’ by their productivity
- 90% of employees working from home say they’re as productive - or more productive - than when in the office
- Productivity monitoring software measured a 5% increase in productivity when people were working from home during the COVID-19 lockdown
- 30% of hybrid workers reported an increase in their hours when they are working from home
- Those working from home give around 35% of the time saved from not commuting to their primary job
- Those working from home increase their average workday by 8.2% or 48.5 minutes
- 94% of employers said that company productivity had remained the same or improved since their employees started working from home
- Working from home productivity gains are attributed to less breaks and sick days and a quieter working environment
 Remote workers report being 9% more productive when working from home
The Working From Home Research group is a collaboration between academics from prestigious learning institutions such as Stanford University, University of Chicago and MIT. In May 2020 they started a large, ongoing monthly survey of the working arrangements and attitudes of US employees (SWAA).
In April 2022, those working remotely reported being 9% more productive than when working from the office. Up from 5% in the summer of 2020.
Researchers say the productivity improvement over time is simply because companies and employees have got better at working from home.
In April 2021, nearly six out of ten workers said they were more productive than they expected to be when working from home. [source]
 Remote workers ‘favorably surprised’ by their productivity
The Working From Home Research group occasionally collaborates with academics from Kings College London, The Institute for Economic Research and Princeton University to run the ‘Global Survey of Working Arrangements’ (G-SWA). Surveying workers across more than two dozen countries.
In their paper titled ‘Working From Home Around the World’ published in August 2022 it was concluded that “most employees were favorably surprised by their WFH productivity during the pandemic”. [source]
 Remote workers report 4% higher productivity scores than office counterparts
Future Forum are a group that work with executives and academics to publish research and drive discussion about the future of work. In their regular ‘Pulse’ surveys they survey workers across the US, UK, Australia, France, Germany and Japan.
Their most recent survey, conducted in August 2022, surveyed 10,766 workers and showed that those who can work remotely report 4% higher productivity scores than workers that are full time in the office. [source]
 90% of employees working from home say they’re as productive - or more productive
Owl labs are a technology company that designs video conferencing devices. They partner with Global Workplace Analytics, a research firm, to produce an annual ‘State of Remote Work’ report.
Their 2021 report surveyed 2,050 full-time US workers at companies with 10 or more employees. The report reveals that 90% of those working from home say they’re as productive, or more productive, than when in the office. [source]
 Survey responses show working from home improved productivity by 6%
Great Place to Work are a company providing employee survey technology and workplace certification. Using their software they survey over 3 million US employees across 715 companies, many in the Fortune 500.
They compared productivity using survey responses given in March to August 2020 - i.e. during the first COVID-19 lockdown, to the same period in 2019 - when people were working in-office. Data showed that working from home during lockdown improved employee productivity by an average of 6%. [source]
 Productivity software measures a 5% increase in productivity when people are working from home
Prodoscore are a company providing ‘productivity intelligence software’. The software monitors employee activity across all of the business applications used in their daily work.
In December 2020 they released a report summarising data from 30,000 US employees with their monitoring software installed. When comparing pre-pandemic data to data from the COVID-19 lockdown, they saw a 5% increase in productivity when people were working from home. [source]
 30% of hybrid workers report an increase in their hours when they're working from home
Microsoft and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development partnered on a survey of hybrid working. In October and November of 2020 they surveyed 2,863 UK office workers with a hybrid working pattern i.e. working in-office and from home.
30% of hybrid workers reported an increase in their hours when they are working from home. [source]
 Home workers give around 35% of the time saved from not commuting to their primary job
CEPR are an organisation producing economic research to help with policy-making. In September 2020 they published a report looking at how those working from home use the time saved from not having to commute. The report written by academics at Stanford University drew on data gathered during a Stanford University survey.
The survey gathered data during COVID-19 lockdown and surveyed 5,000 US residents, aged 20 to 64, who earned more than $20,000 per year. The report concluded that those working from home give around 35% of the time saved from not commuting to their primary job. [source]
 Those working from home increase their average workday by 8.2% (48.5 minutes)
NBER are an organisation producing research on major economic issues for academics and decision-makers. In July 2020 they published a paper titled ‘Collaborating During Coronavirus: The Impact Of COVID-19 On The Nature Of Work’.
The study looked at the usage of email and meeting software by over 3 million workers in 16 cities across North America, Europe and the Middle East. When comparing activity before and during COVID-19 lockdowns the study found that those working from home increase their average workday by 8.2% or 48.5 minutes. [source]
 94% of employers say that company productivity has remained the same or improved
Mercer are a large professional services company offering HR, employee benefits and retirements & investment solutions. In July and August 2020, during the COVID-19 lockdown, they surveyed 793 US employers.
94% of employers said that company productivity had remained the same or improved since their employees started working from home. [source]
 Working from home productivity gains attributed to less breaks and sick days and a quieter working environment
In February 2015 academics at Stanford University published a report on the results of a controlled experiment conducted at a 16,000 employee, NASDAQ listed, travel agency in China. Employees were randomly assigned to either work from home or in the office for a nine month period.
The employees working from home were 13% more productive. The productivity gains were attributed to employees taking less breaks and sick days and the quieter work environment. [source]
 77% of those working from home say they're more productive
ConnectSolutions offer a secure, cloud based online learning platform. They work with enterprise level companies and government agencies. In December 2014 they conducted ‘The Remote Collaborative Worker Survey’. They surveyed 353 US remote workers.
77% of those working from home at least a few times a month said they were more productive at home. [source]
COVID-19 has caused a shift in working practices. After experiencing working from home during lockdowns many employees want some continuation and are seeking flexible working arrangements. Evidence shows that in many business roles working from home is more productive. Food for thought for employers.