Office productivity vs. home productivity. Right now, there’s a dilemma facing many employers. Where are your employees at their best?
Almost half (45%) of workers say they are more productive working in an office than remotely. The sentiment to work more productively in an office comes at a time when an unprecedented number of employees are working remotely.
These figures were derived from a study by The Manifest, providers of data-driven benchmarks for small business. Manifest’s study looked at the productiveness of working from home and office locations. The research involved The Manifest surveying 365 workers across the US from all age groups.
Just 30% of employees say they are more productive working from home, compared to 45% in an office. Almost a quarter (24%) say they are equally productive working in an office and from home.
Office vs Home Productivity
With more employees working from home than ever before, it’s important employers and their staff implement measures to try boost and maintain productivity, motivation and morale.
The Manifest’s research unveiled strategies to help remote working teams improve the productiveness of remote working and stay motivated.
Use a Designated Workspace
43% of the survey’s respondents said they have a designated workspace while working from home. Designating an area of the home specifically for working is a leading strategy for promoting productivity and motivation.
Bethan Vincent, marketing director of app and web developers Netsells, converted a spare bedroom at her home into an office. Vincent shared with The Manifest the importance of having that dedicated space when working from home.
“This ensures I have a dedicated space to work from and ‘commute’ to each morning. Even if you can’t spare a whole room, I do believe it’s important to have a dedicated space you work in and leave at the end of the day, even if it’s just clearing away your laptop from a kitchen table,” said the marketing director.
Structure the Working Day
It is also important to have a structure to the day when working from home. The research shows that 36% of employees say having a structure so the day resembles ‘normal’ working hours can help boost productivity. The working daily routine should include defined starting and finishing times.
According to the survey, 34% of workers believe taking breaks is essential in the quest to remain productive when working from home.
The research highlights the ‘Pomodoro Technique’, involving breaking work up into 25-minute increments with short 3 – 5-minute breaks in-between.
Set a Schedule
It is not uncommon for people working from home to suffer from a concept known as ‘time famine.’ This refers to the feeling of being overwhelmed and having too much to do in too little time.
Setting a schedule, of which 26% of the respondents admitted to doing, can help overcome such feelings and make accomplishing tasks more attainable.
Another method for boosting productivity when homeworking is to reduce distractions. According to the survey, almost a quarter of remote workers believe by actively limited distractions, productivity is increased.
Regularly Communicate with Colleagues
Almost a quarter of remote workers (23%) believe that regular communication with co-workers is important for maintaining productivity. With the wealth of apps and software designed for instant and seamless remote communication, there is little excuse for not holding regular, productivity-boosting meetings with teams.
The key message of The Manifest’s survey is that for homeworking to be productive, effort needs to be made to achieve the optimum working environment.
More in: Small Business Statistics
Getting thrown into a WFH situation like most people isn’t ideal. They had no time to prepare a dedicated space and probably didn’t even have the necessary items and technology to make it happen. Add in the lack of childcare options for many parents and I believe these numbers. However, I do believe that long-term we’ll see more WFH and people will get better at it. And we also need to remember that some people really thrive in offices. And that’s okay too.
I would say I have mixed feelings with the idea of working from home. I get a lot done and I am more focused in an office setting because of co-worker interaction. However, some days working from home just sounds nice.
Now that a lot of people have had to move to work from home, they have had to get used to it. I am curious to see if people will get tired of it.