There are lots of sensible reasons for managers to worry about how productive their teams are now that everyone who can is working from home. There's the perpetual concern that employees will goof off if they're not being watched, of course. But also anxiety about how the distractions of the crisis, new tech, and the need to care for loved ones may impact your team's ability to get stuff done.
Add this all up and it's no wonder many leaders are worried about how productive their people can realistically be at home. New data, however, suggests that when it comes to their remote setup at least, you can probably relax.
One less thing to worry about
The reassuring data comes from RescueTime, a time-management tool that monitors how you spend every minute of time on your computer so you can better optimize your day. At least that's what it does in normal times. In the current crisis, the app is a powerful source of data on exactly what remote workers are doing all day.
The company recently sifted through this treasure trove of information and delivered happy news about our productivity while we work from home.
Here's the bottom-line finding via the company's blog: "According to our data, knowledge workers, software developers, and IT professionals are all more productive when they work from home. This was true both at small and medium businesses and large companies (over 500 employees)."
What exactly does RescueTime mean by more productive? "Remote workers had a four percent increase in average daily time spent on their core work and an 18 percent decrease in time spent on communication," the company reports. Over a year that adds up to 58 more hours spent on core work.
Add the time saved on communication to time clawed back from commuting, and workers save at least three hours a day when they go remote. That's great news for managers, but employees are probably pretty excited about that shift too.
These advantages of working from home showed up when RescueTime spoke to 850 remote workers to get their take and discovered that "remote workers are 20 percent more likely to say they complete all their daily tasks every or most days" and "17 percent more likely to leave work 'feeling accomplished about what they set out to do.'"
You have lots of valid and important things to worry about right now. This data suggests you can remove at least one item from your long list of anxieties. Remote work probably isn't killing your team's productivity.