tanford University conducted research
into whether working from home made
people more productive. The Work From
Home study, reported in HR Insights,
looked into productivity at CTrip, China’s largest travel agency and a $5bn
NASDAQ-listed corporation that employs 13,000 people. The researchers
ran a nine month controlled study dividing two groups of 255
workers with similar qualifications and the same team managers and workflows into home- and office-based workers. The
research found that home workers increased productivity by
13 percent, staff attrition was half that of office-based workers
and home working saved the company $2,000 per employee.
Major U.S. companies such as Sun Microsystems, AT&T,
Dow Chemical, Nortel and Guidant Financial Group allow
employees to work remotely and have benefitted from significant cost savings. Sun Microsystems and AT&T save $70 million and $25 million each year, respectively, on real estate costs
alone, while Dow has reduced other non-real estate costs by
33 percent. On average, an organization can save $8,000 per
THE QUESTION IS: DOES
TELECOMMUTING WORK FOR YOU AND
While it’s a controversial issue, and remote working is a relatively recent phenomenon, it has steadily increased in popularity. According to Telework Research Network, around 3. 1 million American workers work from home exclusively, with an
even larger number working remotely part time. The 2010 US
Census showed that the proportion of all workers based from
home at least one day per week increased from 7 percent to 9. 5
percent between 1997 and 2010. Additionally, the percentage
working from home exclusively increased from 4. 8 percent to
6. 6 percent (equal to an increase of 4. 2 million people).
Workers in the finance, insurance and real estate industries
are more likely to be based from home than other areas. Although these sectors make up approximately 6. 7 percent of the
labor force, they account for 9. 7 percent of home workers (up
from 3. 9 percent in 2000).
Home-based working is on the rise—according to Time
Business & Money, around 45 percent of the U.S. workforce
hold jobs that are suitable for part- or full-time telecommuting.