04 October 2018

Do Remote Workers Perform Better Than Office Workers?

In the modern working environment, more and more companies are embracing the remote working culture. There are pros and cons of remote working vis-a-vis office working. Generally, there are three main reasons why companies are aggressively looking for remote working.
  • It cuts down heavily on office infrastructure cost.
  • The admin arrangements also see a good drop in expenses.
  • Due to flexible working an hours, an organization can expect great talent on its role. 
  • It has been experienced that when individual working remotely, productivity increases in an average.
However, it is a big discussion running across the globe whether remote working is beneficial or in the office working. Let us find out whether remote worker outperforms office workers. I have personal experiences and take away which I will share at the end of this analysis. 
digital nomad, eco, environment

As per the US Department of Labour, over the past five years, there has been a 50% increase in the number of companies that prefers their teams working remotely. Generally, there are below environment for working.
    Group of People Sitting Near Table
  • The company has the office and all employees report as per standard office time.
  • The company has the office. The hours of reporting are flexible. However, completing daily quota of office hours is mandatory. 
  • The company has the office with limited seats and most of the employees working remotely. Partially, remote working. Like 3 days a week or so.  
    remote working
  • The company has the office and using it as headquarter. But all other employees spread in various geographies are working remotely. 
  • The company does not have an office and everybody is working remotely. etc.
  • In a survey, it was discovered that 
    • 53% of companies continue to have standard workplaces.
    • 37% of companies have the main office with some people working remotely.
    • 10% have no office space at all and all employees working remotely.

Since remote working is increasingly becoming a trend. Let us see whether it outperforms office working?
In a survey, an alarming situation came up. In 2008, 16% of people were saying that they are not able to concentrate on work while on the desk, has increased to 29% in 2017. The focus should be on productivity and does not matter where employees are sitting and working. There are below advantages of remote working over office work.

Enhanced Productivity

It is experienced that when people are working remotely, the productivity is enhanced automatically. There are multiple points supporting the facts. 
    Distraction in office
  • There is no office distraction.
  • There is no wasting time in cafe gossip.
  • Great autonomy is experienced in remote working
  • In a survey, it was revealed that 86% of employees prefer to work alone.
  • In the same survey, it also reveled that 67% are distracted by a loud colleague. 
  • 65% workers felt that remote working will boost their productivity.
  • It is highly expected by employees to kill traffic rush fatigue by working remotely. It is the win-win situation for both. The company as well as the employee. 
Better Team Collaboration

    Group Hand Fist Bump
  • While working remotely, the collaborative tool makes the best teams to work upon. 
  • It does not depend on the physical presence and depends upon better communication. 
  • Due to the availability of better communication technologies, there is no problem now for collaboration among team members. 
  • Due to increased communication and written/recorded conversations, it is becoming easy for the management to control the output and manage the teams in the global environment. 
  • Collaboration tools like WebEx, Skype, Team meeting etc have played a vital role and people are confirming that remote working through video conferencing creates great work harmony. 

Increased Accountability
    apple devices, books, business
  • Remote working increases the accountability as an individual is accountable for his part of working in some project.
  • Every transaction is recorded (Voice/Video/Text). Therefore, it is easy for anyone to track the progress and question
  • People are able to devote more time in working as they are not losing any time in transition or in office gossip.
  • Need for hours tracking is eliminated. Now it is responsibility and target based accountability.
Cost Saving
    Group Of People Having A Meeting
  • It is a win-win situation for both (company and employee).
  • Employee saves on time and transit expenses. Whereas organization saves on office infra cost.
  • Companies need less spending on office admin expenses.
  • Huge saving in electricity, coffee vending, transportation, traveling and meals.
  • People take fewer leaves as compared to office goers. 
  • Remote working is also an excellent tool for maintaining work-life balance.
  • Demand for flexible working is rising and thus it is good for companies to look for that option.

business, businessmen, classroomIn my personal opinion, I would recommend remote working. Though it has some limitations as all workers may not prove to be productive while they are working remotely, however, a majority of the workers will provide great productivity. Additionally, remote working has some issues as well. It will demand additional investments in establishing the culture and environment for remote working. Special attention to be given on maintaining the security on data and information. The individual will be too close to family and thus will improve the mind sharing. His mind will not be thinking about the family affairs.

On the negative side, it may disconnect the employee from of company completely. In long run, it may result unfruitful in some cases. IBM withdraw remote working for some employees last year. If an individual remains too much involved in family affairs, it may be costly for the organization. Proper monitoring and control mechanism to be in place.

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