How Productive is Remote Work?

Insights from a Post-Pandemic Work From Home Survey

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The onset of COVID-19 completely redefined the work environment. From longer workdays, learning how to use new online platforms, ignoring distractions and coping with Zoom fatigue, employees faced many obstacles in transitioning to remote work. Now, over a year into the pandemic, this lifestyle has become the new normal. So, how well have employees truly adapted to working from home?

According to insights from a 2021 survey by CapRelo, the answer is: very well. 

Over half, nearly 58%, of survey respondents preferred remote work over in-person work. This preference may be due to a number of reasons. Working remotely grants individuals the freedom to travel, live in close proximity to friends and family, work on a more flexible schedule and eliminate commute time to the office, along with a slew of other benefits. 

With the freedom and lack of supervision that accompanies remote work, it seems as though productivity would take a hit. However, the opposite was true. A staggering 58% of respondents said that they were more productive working from home than in the office, and 22% of respondents were equally as productive working remotely as they were working in-person. That’s a whopping 80% of employees that are equally or more productive online than in the office.

These findings challenge traditional views of the workplace: that meetings need to be held in the office, that tasks must be completed under supervision, that employees must ‘dress the part,’ etc. While these notions may hold true in certain situations, this survey disproves that the physical office space is necessary to productivity.

Only a few years ago, a small number of people were able to work from home. Now, it is one of the most important factors when looking for a job. 63% of respondents said that the ability to work remotely was either the most important or very important when considering future employment decisions. 

Perhaps even more interesting is that a small minority of respondents, only 12.6%, said that remote work was not an important factor when making future employment decisions. This demonstrates the extent to which the pandemic has shifted Americans’ perceptions and values regarding work.

The survey results show that remote work is more productive than working in-person, preferred to the traditional office space, and either the most or one of the most important factors in considering future employment opportunities. With a clear preference for working from home, it looks like remote work will survive post-pandemic.

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