Entries in Home Office (3)


Telecommuters More Productive, Says UK Study

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Is a bed-to-desk commute a secret fantasy of yours?  Think you might actually be more productive working in various states of undress from the privacy of your very own home?

If so, you’re in luck: A recent “flexible working” pilot study conducted by O2, a British telecommunications company, found that employees are, in fact, more industrious when working remotely. What’s more, the environment gets a much-needed break, and -- yes! -- the company saves money. A win-win situation all around.

On Feb. 8, O2 allowed 3,000 of its employees from its Slough-based head office to work from home, shutting doors and flicking off the lights in its 200,000-square-foot office.  This was all planned well in advance: O2 spent weeks gearing up for the Big Day weeks, upgrading its network infrastructure and giving employees ample time to adjust their psyches to not having to hightail it to work.

The company then recorded the results:  Eighty-eight percent of the home-based workers said they were as productive as they normally were in the office, while 36 percent said they were even more so. There were other reported perks: 15 percent caught up on sleep and 14 percent bonded with their families. They saved 2,000 hours of traveling time, which translates into $14,000 in commuting costs.

The environment also benefited.  O2′s electricity consumption decreased by 12 percent, and water usage plunged 53 percent.  About 12.2 tons  of CO2 was saved -- roughly equivalent to the CO2 emissions from a 42,000-mile drive in a medium-sized diesel car.

The company was thrilled -- and presumably, so was the British government, which has already begun encouraging businesses to let their employees work from home during the seven-week-long Olympic Games this summer.

The experiment “proves that with the right thinking and planning, even the largest organizations can protect themselves from the most severe disruptions to their business,” says Ben Dowd, O2′s business director. “It shows that businesses really can make significant and lasting reductions to their environmental impact, in a multitude of areas.”

And, he added, it demonstrates that the “principles underlying flexible working really are the principles that will build the future of work, and determine the way that people, technology and buildings interact in the decades and centuries ahead.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Employees Working Remotely Are Seen Not as Productive

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ONTARIO, Canada) -- Most employees in the U.S. and Canada are open to flexible work arraignments, which includes working remotely, but a new survey shows a majority of bosses in the Great White North don’t think staffers are as productive when they work outside the office.

A survey commissioned by Microsoft Canada finds just 25 percent of Canadian bosses feel employees are more productive working remotely than inside the office.

In comparison, 55 percent of Canadian workers believe they are more productive when they work remotely.

Still, 42 percent of the bosses polled say they do support remote working arraignments.

The bosses surveyed also listed their complaints when it comes to dealing with employees who work remotely.  Here are the top pet peeves, along with the percentage of bosses who feel that way:

  • Inability to talk face-to-face, 49 percent.
  • Lack of focus, 26 percent.
  • Lack of accountability, 22 percent.
  • A belief employees are doing less work, 22 percent.

The Microsoft Canada survey involved 1,249 employees and bosses.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Telecommuters Happy to Work from Home

Photodisc/Thinkstock(AMSTERDAM) -- Some employees are plenty happy to bring their work home with them. Telecommuters surveyed by Staples Advantage say their stress levels dropped an average of 25 percent since they began working from home.

Other stats from the survey of more than 140 telecommuters who work at least one day per week at home:

-- 86 percent say they are more productive when working at home.
-- 76 percent are more willing to work longer than usual since they began working from home.
-- 73 percent say they eat healthier when working from home.
-- Fifty-four percent have embraced telecommuting so much that they say they'd give up their favorite TV show rather than work solely in an office. Forty-eight percent said they'd skip an extra hour of sleep, and 40 percent said they'd take a pay cut.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio