“Many people think of working from home as shirking from home,” says Stanford University economics professor Nicholas Bloom. The professor – who co-directs the Productivity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship program at the US’s National Bureau of Economic Research – had worked from home at a previous job, and he recognized that it’s becoming more and more common around the world. More than 500 employees in the company’s call center volunteered, and about half met the study qualifications, which included having a private room at home from which to work, having been at Ctrip for at least six months, and decent broadband access. “But to our amazement, the work-from-home employees were far from goofing off – they increased productivity by 13.5 percent over those working in the office. That’s like getting an extra day’s work from each employee.” The people working from home also reported shorter breaks and fewer sick days and took less time off. Still, to the surprise of Ctrip management, more than half of the volunteer group changed their minds about working from home – they felt too much isolation. Bottom line: the study shows that companies have little to lose – and much to gain – by allowing employees to work from home. “You don’t want to go much higher because you risk jeopardizing the cohesion of your team.” As companies compete to hire and retain the best employees, being able to offer the option to work from home can sweeten the deal.
Read more on goo.gl/kfiEn5.