Is Work from Home More Productive?

April 03, 2024 in

After the pandemic, many companies consider remote work as an alternative to traditional office-based employment. This trend has sparked an interesting debate about which option is better– working remotely or in-office. More specifically, is work from home more productive?

There is no doubt that working remotely comes with a variety of advantages and drawbacks. But where can we put the efficacy and productivity in those categorizations? We dug a little bit deeper and explored the landscape of remote work so you can have the ultimate answer to the most common question about employment nowadays.

Is Work from Home More Productive?
Source: / Photo Contributor: G-Stock Studio

Is Work from Home More Productive?

Work from home jobs are an increasingly popular option nowadays. In fact, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 25.7% of the private establishments in 2022 had employees working from home.

The remote employees have worked for companies coming from different industries, but the most common had the following backgrounds:

  • Information
  • Customer service
  • Insurance
  • Professional and business services
  • Educational services
  • Wholesale trade
  • Financial activities

As more than one-quarter of businesses in the U.S. have remote workers, one of the vital questions is whether working from home is more productive than working from the office. The genuine answer is that it depends on the employee and the position.

Generally looking, remote workers outwork their in-office counterparts. According to the latest remote work productivity statistics:

  • On a monthly basis, remote workers work 1.4 days more and are 13% more productive than on-site employees
  • Around 66% of managers believe their remote employees spike the productivity stats of their company
  • Remote workers are more likely to achieve greater work success

If we look at the working from home vs office statistics in particular companies, it indicates that their teleworkers are between 35% and 40% more productive.

Benefits of Working from Home

Working from home offers many benefits for both employers and employees.

The employer perspective

From the employer's perspective, remote work offers multiple benefits. In a recent survey conducted in 2023, the top benefits of remote work, and at the same time, reasons why companies have adopted remote work, are:

  • Access to border talent
  • Increased productivity
  • Reduced costs for office equipment and utilities, which are $10,000 annually on average per employee
  • Improved mental health of employees
  • Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging

The process of hiring a remote worker is generally easier because more candidates can apply for the job position, and there is a more diverse pool of talents to choose from. Hence, it makes it easier for employers to differentiate the benefits of attracting and retaining talent.

But, are companies more productive working from home? In a survey conducted about the productivity of remote workers, the majority of executive leadership trusted that employees working from home were productive while staying at home.

The employee perspective

Now, let's see what are the benefits of remote work for the employees themselves. Why are employees more productive working from home, and what motivates them to get the job done?

The main advantages of working from home for the employees are:

  • Flexibility to spend their time as they wish
  • Freedom to choose the location where they will live and work
  • Increased free time because they don’t commute or get ready for work
  • Financially more affordable option
  • Ability to increase their work performance because they can focus more
  • Better availability of career options

Looking at all of these benefits, we can conclude that working from home has made the life-work balance easier. However, as their private life thrives, 60% of respondents in a survey stated that their remote work has made them less connected with their co-workers.

In addition, global research has shown that each remote worker saves around two hours each week by not commuting to work. This is a huge benefit because employees reported using 40% of the time saved to do overtime work.

The Employee Perspective
Source: / Photo Contributor: Jack Frog

Challenges of working from home

While working from home sure has its benefits, there are also some limitations to such an arrangement. For the remote workers, the biggest struggles in 2023 were:

  • Staying home too much
  • Feeling lonely
  • Working in a different time zone than other colleagues
  • Inability to unplug
  • Experiencing overload burnout
  • Difficulty focusing on the job

But, does working from home decrease productivity? Understanding these disadvantages leads us to the results from another study that showed that the longer and the more frequently people work from home, their work performance decreases by 70%.

Factors Influencing Productivity in Remote Work

The productivity levels of remote work can be affected by many factors.

Individual preferences and work style

Firstly, productivity depends on individual preferences and work styles. For instance, there are people who can get work done just as well as they would if they were in an in-office setting, but there are also people who need constant monitoring and motivation.

Self-discipline and home distractions

Furthermore, self-discipline is crucial when it comes to remote working. What’s more, the ability to deal with home distractions and keep the focus on work.

One of the best strategies to increase productivity when working from home is to create a dedicated workspace. Our brains work in mysterious ways and typically associate certain objects with specific activities. That’s one of the many reasons why it is always recommended to work from a desk and not from your bed or sofa, especially if you are telecommuting.

Technical setup

Next, the productivity of the remote worker might depend on their technical setup. The must-haves for undistracted and productive working hours are:

  • Fast, reliable, and stable Internet connection
  • Suitable technical equipment according to the job position

Organizational support

Organizational support also plays a vital role in the remote worker's productivity. Some of the key determinants of work-from-home productivity are job security, satisfaction, work flexibility, and organizational commitment.

Companies can manifest their support using various techniques. The most common are:

  • Clear communication and remote work policies
  • Providing access to necessary communication and collaboration tools
  • Providing all needed resources for work
  • Establishing achievable goals
  • Providing regular feedback
  • Fostering culture and autonomy
  • Facilitating networking
  • Wellness and mental health programs

Strategies for Maximizing Productivity in Remote Work

There are an endless number of strategies that can be utilized by employers and employees so they can secure the productivity of their remote workers. For employees, the most effective techniques include:

  • Setting clear working hours in situations where they offer flexibility
  • Starting each workday by making a list of goals and priorities
  • Sticking to a work routine
  • Minimizing distractions
  • Taking regular breaks
  • Maintaining regular communication with colleagues etc.

Employers can also boost the productivity of their remote employees. Strategies that work best include:

  • Allowing flexible work hours and letting employees find their own peak hours for productivity
  • Doing regular check-ins through virtual meetings
  • Providing time off to promote life-work balance and prevent burnout
  • Setting realistic and achievable goals and deadlines
  • Using performance metrics and tracking systems
  • Creating a rewards and incentives program
Strategies for Maximizing Productivity in Remote Work
Source: / Photo Contributor: Ground Picture

Afni: The Best Company To Work For Remotely

Still wondering is working from home more productive? See for yourself, and search for your next career with Afni. Working for Afni offers many benefits, including excellent company culture, competitive pay, paid time off, fun on-site events, and much more.

With Afni, you won’t get a regular dead-end job. Instead, you will be part of the most effective training and development programs that will assist you in doing your job perfectly. In addition, you have the opportunity to grow and land a job position with more responsibilities as you get better.

About the Author

Samantha is the Recruitment Marketing Manager for Afni and brings a wealth of knowledge and tips for job seekers. She holds a bachelor's degree in public relations and marketing from Mount Saint Vincent University as well as a masters degree in digital marketing and advertising from Liberty University.