Big name companies such as Apple, Amazon, and Dell all encourage their employees to work remotely with reasons being that employees are much more productive, creative, and would produce higher quality work beneficial for the company’s use. Other reasons may include highly skilled employees may lack the ability to work overseas where the company is located but is still sought after. But the question lies on which productivity levels are higher between employees who work from home and those that work in offices.
A group of Stanford researchers in 2014 based their work productivity study on employees working in a Chinese call center for travel agent showed that an average of 13% of employees working at home was more productive, makes a higher number of phone calls, and spends longer time on call. However, the two work environments are very different. CEO of Humanyze, Ben Waber gave a hypothesis on the potential benefits that can be obtained when working in-person. One of it is the opportunity to improve oneself and being able to project these newfound improvements to other employees.
Waber continued by generally stating for those who focus more towards external-facing, such as a journalist, sales, network marketing, or someone who’s important job is to brainstorm new ideas for a project, working remotely is a good option. It all depends on the type and role of the job you look at. But, if your job is more towards teamwork, project collaboration, quick iteration, then you’re much better working in an office where communication is quick and messages can be relayed faster without risk of miscommunication.
The answer on whether productivity is better for either side of work environments depends on the job you have, the role you have in that job, and mostly your preference in how a certain type of working environment can help improve the quality of your work.