Working from the comfort of your own home seems like a dream come true, but something that was once a benefit has now become an expectation. Simply put, it's the new normal.

People no longer want to deal with the frustrations of driving to and from work: In fact, new research shows that one in four employees has quit a job because of a long commute. Many job seekers now rely on the flexibility of remote work to avoid these inconveniences. The real question: How do virtual and in-office workspaces differ?

Remote employees are more productive than office employees 

Airtasker, a gig economy platform, sought out the answers and surveyed 1,004 full-time employees about their daily tasks and efficiency. Just over half of respondents said they work from home a majority of the week:

  • Remote workers take 22 minutes a day for breaks, compared to 18 minutes for in-office workers
  • They also worked an average of 1.4 more days every month, or 16.8 more days every year

Office workers reported being idle for about 37 minutes a day, excluding lunch and standard breaks, while remote workers proved to be more productive, only citing 27 minutes of unproductive time.

When it came to remaining focused, though, the differences were minimal: Only 8 percent of remote workers and 6 percent of in-office employees found it difficult to stay on track of their daily tasks. However, in-office workers were 17 percentage points more likely than remote employees to avoid working when their screen time or mouse movements were being tracked.

The best ways to stay productive while working from home 

Remote workers have proved to be more productive, but what's their secret? Research shows that it's no mystery at all -- remote employees enforce some of the same disciplines as in-office employees:

  • Taking breaks is the No.1 most effective way to stay productive (37 percent)
  • Nearly one-third say that having set office hours helps them stay focused
  • 30 percent also stay productive by keeping to-do lists

On an interesting note, 50 percent of remote employees, however productive, still wanted to be their own boss as opposed to climbing the corporate ladder, while another 21 percent already worked for themselves. 

Benefits of working from home

We do what we have to do to succeed at work, but how many people know how much they spend commuting to and from their job every day? When compared with office employees, remote workers saved $4,523.04 on fuel each year. They were also able to maintain healthier lifestyles, as they clocked an extra 25 minutes of physical activity each week.

But, like anything else in life, there are drawbacks: 29 percent of remote workers struggled with work-life balance.

Working remotely has its perks: fewer distractions, no more commutes, and you can save money and time. However, it doesn't mean you should pack up and quit your office job in search of a remote position. When choosing your career path, it's important to choose the lifestyle that best suits you -- and that may include sitting in an office cubicle.

Published on: Oct 4, 2019
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