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What Makes Remote Workers More Productive?

Because of the flexibility that working from a distance allows, employees are also more likely to spread their work throughout the day in different ways. For example, they are more likely to work after business hours.

Ryan Robinson, a content marketer that works 100% remotely with his clients agrees. He shares, “Being fully remote with my clients gives me the permission to work during my peak hours of the day—which tend to be extremely early. The hours from 5:00am – 11:00am are when I get my best work done, and in previous jobs that time would often go to waste simply because it wasn’t the norm. Choosing to start freelancing and work with clients in a capacity that allows for a more flexible work schedule has been one of the best decisions I’ve made for the quality of my own output.”

They are more engaged

A recent Gallup study reported that remote workers appear to be more engaged with their work than office employees –Some of the reasons pointed out by the Harvard Business Review include the fact that proximity does not always lead to quality conversations and that when people are absent from the office, they put more effort in reconnecting with the rest when they are back. 66% of Flexjob survey respondents said their productivity improved when not in an office, and 76% said there are fewer distractions outside of offices.

They are more productive

Remote work is growing in popularity, and why wouldn’t it? Remote work benefits both the worker and the employers.

Here are a few top benefits:

  • Remote work provides flexibility and productivity. A Stats study showed JD Edwards teleworkers were shown to be 20-25 percent more productive than their office colleagues. Additionally, American Express employees who worked from home were 43 percent more productive.

  • Remote work is good for the environment. The less you commute, the less you contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. Hiring more remote workers can contribute to reducing climate change. In fact, if U.S. workers worked remotely half the time, the greenhouse reduction would have the same effect as taking the New York State workforce permanently off the road.

  • Remote work is a motivating work perk. According to a study by Softchoice, 74% of North American office workers reported they would change jobs based on a work from home policy.

  • Remote work contributes to job satisfaction. 53.3% of developers said working remotely was a priority when looking for a new job, and the highest job satisfaction was reported by developers who were entirely or almost entirely remote.

They are better at collaboration

Source: SurePayroll Blog

Employers often cite collaboration as the main reason not to allow employees to work remotely. However, employee productivity statistics show that not being in the office does not hurt team communication and achieving common goals. 54% of U.S. remote workers said they still want to keep communicating and networking with their colleagues even when not in the office.

Plus, one of the main distractions in the workplace comes from random talks with co-workers who are passing by other employees’ desks. Many workers try to minimize these distractions by communicating via email or instant messaging even when together in the office. In fact, remote workers feel more connected with their work and their colleagues because they use video conferencing.

And… (drumroll)… They are happier with their jobs

Last but not least, let’s consider some numbers on job satisfaction and personal happiness. While the connection between them and productivity is an elusive one, it’s worth considering whether remote work benefits employees’ well-being.

The most common benefits connected with remote workers’ higher levels of satisfaction include the flexibility giving them more freedom of choice, decreased levels of stress, as well as more sleep and less commuting or driving.

While there is conflicting information on the issue, remote work is also said to help achieve a better work-life balance. This is especially important for millennial's who are fast becoming the major part of and are shaping the U.S. workforce.

The Stanford University WFH study showed self-reported higher levels of happiness and satisfaction with their work and potentially lower employee turnover as a result of that. Other studies also show that after working remotely for 3-5 years, employees report higher levels of satisfaction and happiness with their jobs.

There is, potentially, a link between better physical and mental health and remote work, which also feeds into employees’ overall work and personal satisfaction. Thus, while employee happiness might sound vague and far-fetched, its implications on the productivity and behavior of workers can be many folds.

Employers even save money from remote work

While companies’ financial savings are not related to employee productivity, it is still worth to mention what benefits employers get from remote work, as they add up to the increased productivity at work. According to a Cisco study, the company saved $277 million per year from telecommuting employees. Global Workplace Analytics found out that $11,000 are saved per person per year if employees work half of the time away from the office. The biggest savings come from real estate costs (needing a smaller office space and furniture expenses. Another important financial factor for employers is that remote workers are not prevented from doing their job during bad weather, but office employees can’t get to their work desks, which means lost money for the company. After all, employees working from home saved the federal government $32 million during four official snow days in 2014.

How do remote teams measure their employees’ productivity?

On the basis of a number of studies, it’s a safe bet to claim that remote workers are really productive – even more so than their office counterparts. But one issue still remains unsolved, and it is how companies measure remote employees’ productivity.

Why is this so important? Because employers need to make informed decisions how and when to allow the option for remote work. It’s also crucial to illustrate to decision-makers, board members that introducing working from distance definitely does not hurt productivity. Instead, it boosts it.

So, how can companies measure the productivity of their remote workers? conducted a study with top remote teams. Here are some of the highlights on how they evaluate and promote the efficiency of their remote staff:

  • Setting clear metrics for each team member

  • Setting short-term goals (daily or weekly)

  • Monitoring if tasks are completed in time

  • Hold regular team meetings to align on goals, plans, and problems

  • Quality of the work

  • Feedback from 360-degree reviews

  • Feedback from clients

  • Performance reviews

  • Focusing on results accomplished rather than time tracked

  • Tracking activity levels and work screenshots

  • Receiving a score on completed work

  • Tracking challenges that have been overcome

Using a few of these productivity factors in a structured way can greatly help companies with remote workers to keep tabs on their productivity. In turn, this can help the legitimacy of telecommuting and take it out of the gray zone for companies around the world.

How specifically does technology make companies more productive?

Because of the flexibility that working from a distance allows, employees are also more likely to spread their work throughout the day in different ways. For example, they are more likely to work after business hours.

Remote and Work at Home Workers: Now your workers can plug into an internet connection anywhere and have the same feature set that they have in the office. Their phone works the same, it becomes an application that runs on their computer. Working from your home or anywhere else (airport, hotel, Starbucks) is easy to do.

Mobile Workers: Today many companies have a workforce that is mobile, that are out of the office doing business – and sometimes they are mobile while at the office but not at their desk. Cloud communications allows your mobile phone or tablet to give you in office power from an app. Also, calls no longer must ring only at your desk phone. You can of course forward your calls when you leave your office. But you can “twin” calls so that they ring to multiple devices at once. Your calls can ring to your office desk phone, home office, mobile device, and your tablet; all at once. Once you answer the call other devices immediately stop ringing. And you can even flip between devices. If you are away from your desk wandering the halls in the office, go ahead and grab your call on your mobile. But once you are back to the office, you can easily shift the call to your office desk phone with the touch of a button.

Hot Desking: You can move your phone to any phone on your system, at any location. You simply hot desk (by simply logging on your extension) to any phone and all your calls, voice mails, and even button programming move right to the phone you are using. Hot desking is as easy as typing in your password on the phone you want to use.

Collaboration: Home employees and mobile employees make meetings and planning sessions more difficult. But not with the power of new collaboration tools available in a cloud solution. Organizing a meeting or conference call is fast and easy whether the employee is in the office, home, or mobile any, or all employees will be included. They can all be on a video call and the screen will switch and show whoever is talking at that moment. You can also share files (PowerPoint, excel, any type of file) and make changes from remote locations. Now, you are not required to be in the office to be a powerful and productive team.

Business texting: Did you know that 86% of people will immediately respond to a text. Today’s world sees texting as a great way to communicate. But if your business numbers don’t offer texting you are losing a communications tool your customers (and employees) want to use. What is people are texting to your business numbers and you don’t even know it because they have no where to go. We can fix that.

Generational routing: Customer satisfaction is key in today’s competitive worked. We have baby boomers, generation X, millennial's, and generation Z all wanting to talk to our business. But they don’t want to communicate just over the phone. Baby boomers like the phone. But Generation X grew up with email. Millennial's like texting, and Generation Z use social media. Your business needs to “talk all these languages”. Not a problem with a cloud solution, we talk to everyone! We can insure a great customer experience.

Disaster recovery: Down time is a thing of the past. What if you lose connectivity at your office (internet, power, weather restrictions, pandemics)? Not a problem with a cloud solution. Your calls are automatically extended to your mobile devices, tablets, and computers. Your employees can be anywhere and still be working. A cloud system resides in a hardened data center and is automatically backed up by a resilient system. You are up and working 99.999% of the time.

To receive guidance and expertise from a Technology Advisor that has relationships with best-of-breed companies (including over 175 suppliers) with no consultation fee, please contact Simplify My Communications at 713.910.1401.


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