Connect with Point of View   to get exclusive commentary and updates

Working from Home

work from home vs work from office
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

The business world is seeing a reverse migration from Zoom to the conference room. Employees may love working from home, but there is growing evidence that productivity drops when people work from their dining table or home office.

We all know the benefits of remote working. You spend less time commuting. You can take a short nap or a mid-morning run. You can fit in several commitments from carpool to doctor’s appointments. During the pandemic and lockdowns, a few surveys found that workers reported higher levels of satisfaction and happiness.

Those may be the positive aspects of working from home, but more and more companies are calling their employees back to the office. Even the notoriously flexible Big Tech companies want employees to show up at least 2-3 days a week.

The reason for the call-back is productivity. A study reported in the Economist illustrates the change in perception. A study done by two Harvard University doctoral students originally found an 8 percent increase in the number of calls handled per hour by employees of an online retailer that had shifted from offices to homes. But a revised version of the paper changed that estimate to a 4 percent decline. The researchers had not made a mistake. As they received more precise data, they found that the employees answered fewer calls and put customers on hold for longer.

Another study done by researchers at MIT and UCLA concluded workers at home were 18 percent less productive. And a research study from the University of Essex found a 19 percent drop in productivity.

What is also lost is face-to-face communication, human interaction, and team building. It is easy to see why more and more companies are summoning their workers back to the office.viewpoints new web version

Viewpoints sign-up