Survey Reveals the Impact of Remote Work on Employees’ Productivity — And It’s Pretty Good

The myth of remote work hampering an employee’s productivity has long assailed the minds of business leaders and managers alike.

But ever since the pandemic forced us to adopt a work-from-home setup, this myth, as it turns out, is unwarranted. The numbers will tell you why.

Stats on the Impact of Remote Work on Productivity

Because 2020 onwards is such a unique period for work around the world, human resources firms quickly quantified the difference between now and pre-pandemic times. In particular, they want to see how COVID-19 and a remote work arrangement impacted the productivity of employees. 

Depending on your perception of remote work, the numbers are pleasantly surprising, and these two surveys tell both sides of the story. In a 2021 survey conducted by the HR consulting firm Mercer, 94% of 800 employers claimed productivity was higher or the same since the pandemic started. This pool of respondents accounted for both remote and non-remote workers.

Mercer’s findings complement job-hunting platform FlexJobs’ 2020 survey. In it, they found 51% of employees claimed they were more productive working from home. But if you include the number of respondents who said their productivity was the same in a remote work setup, that number rises to 95%.

These are staggering figures when you consider the bad rap remote work received in the olden times (a.k.a, the time before March 2020). Even real estate company Zillow admits their perception of this arrangement was not exactly favorable until the pandemic hit.

“We have historically discouraged employees from working from home, preferring face time and in-office collaboration versus virtual exchanges,” Chief People Officer Dan Spaulding says in a post. Now, the company employs a flexible work-from-home policy.

In the same post, Spaulding notes how the pandemic debunked this notion because of how easily their workforce adapted. He continues by commending the employees’ “unflagging drive and commitment to innovate and serve our customers and partners at the highest levels, regardless of changing work conditions.”

Image credits to Canva

What this Means for Businesses

This massive shift in work style is illuminating to business leaders. Not only did employees prove they can get as much work done, if not more, at home. But business leaders have also learned they can embrace the virtual space and work toward making it optimal for their company.

In fact, a majority of workers prefer the virtual, remote setup. Social media software company Buffer conducted a 2021 survey showing about 98% of their participants said they’d like to experience remote work sometimes for the rest of their careers.

On the employer’s side, a significant number of major companies have fully transitioned to a remote work setup. For example, Twitter has announced its employees can work from home for as long as they want. Even its CEO Jack Dorsey said he experienced a boost in productivity by doing so, an Insider report says, citing The Washington Post.

Another example is Fujitsu opting for a permanent remote work arrangement, the BBC reports. In this arrangement, Fujitsu said employees are likely to perform better and be more productive given the amount of freedom and “autonomy” they now have.

These cases illustrate how beneficial remote work can be for the employee and employer. For the latter, the other good things remote work brings also include:

  • Increased productivity for management as well
  • Reduced urgency for an office or co-working space
  • Reduced spending for in-office purchases

There are other material benefits of shifting to a remote work model or a hybrid form, especially when you’ve gotten the hang of it — and they don’t necessarily have anything to do with productivity (indirectly though, they might).

The Benefits of Remote Work Apart from Productivity

So what are these other benefits? And how will they boost your company’s performance?

Believe it or not, going remote solves a lot of problems directly caused or enabled by face-to-face operations. And these solutions contribute greatly to why a majority prefer working from home.

These are a few of the pro-employee benefits of shifting to virtual:

  • Work-life balance
  • Zero commuting costs
  • Better mental health

For the employers’ side, some of the more strategic benefits of shifting to a remote work environment include:

  • Better investment in time and resources as more can be channeled toward the business’s core activities
  • Better allotment of the company’s funds
  • Flexible workflow

These benefits pave the way for a healthier and happier workforce, contributing to the improvement of your company’s overall performance.

Image credits to Canva

Types of Work that Can Be Done Remotely

But needless to say, not all types of work can be feasibly accomplished in a remote arrangement.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a 2018 American Time Use Survey notes in its findings “very few jobs in agriculture, hotels and restaurants, or retail can be” done at home.

On the plus side, the same report says remote work reasonably applies to “most jobs in finance, corporate management, and professional and scientific services”. So if you’re looking to gear your company for efficiency, perhaps start looking into a hybrid model.

Here’s a list of virtual-friendly work you can start with:

  • Technical & chat support
  • Virtual assistance
  • Email support
  • Software development
  • Digital art development
  • Video editing
  • Accounting

Once you start to embrace the remote setup, you will eventually see how much your company saves in terms of time and finances.

Now, imagine if part of your workforce operates remotely and lives in a country that doesn’t require you to shell out as much. 

If you’re going to transition to fully remote work, it’s wise to find ways to maximize the arrangement. So another lesson you can take away from the pandemic impacting the workplace is how practical and efficient it is to delegate work to professionals through offshore outsourcing.

By outsourcing professional services, you sign up for an inherently remote and virtual approach to business, all while keeping your costs to a minimum. This means the outsourcing company knows how to manage and accomplish work virtually and, of course, productively.

In this way, not only will you be able to adapt to crises like a pandemic, but you also get to perform beyond what you conceived to be possible.

In Summary

Two recent surveys reveal how remote work positively impacts a company’s productivity. According to Mercer, 98% of employers said productivity was the same or better since the pandemic started.

In another survey by FlexJobs, 95% of employees felt the same, with 51% claiming their productivity improved when remote work was imposed.

But apart from productivity, the other benefits a company can reap from transition to a remote work or hybrid model include:

  • Work-life balance
  • Better mental health
  • Increased time invested in the business’s core activities

Want to know an extra benefit of going remote? It’s no secret several top-performing companies have been implementing remote work even in pre-pandemic times — and the way they go about it is by outsourcing.

So if you want to reduce your company’s expenses while maintaining efficiency in the workplace, try outsourcing. It’s a proven model for businesses in practically any industry, whether it’s in gaming or healthcare.

And if you want to work with us, don’t hesitate to send a message our way via sales@narrasoft.com. You can also use our chat box or contact form! We’ll give you a free consultation the moment we receive your message.