Why is working from home more productive than working in the office?

It’s a battle we’ve been hearing about constantly in the past few years – whether working from home or in the office is more productive for businesses.

For years, data showed that the former was the better option, but recently, the wisdom has turned the other way, leading to many companies asking employees to return to the office.

A woman on TikTok explained why, and the answer is obvious — and it turns out her perceptions match a lot of data on the subject.

The woman perfectly explained why working from home is more productive than working in the office.

For many years, the prevailing data on this topic has shown that working from home is the best option. But recent studies have begun to shift conventional wisdom in the other direction, leading many companies to ask employees to return to their desks even when employees have made clear they do not wish to do so.

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It seems that these mandates within the office are not working – A Recent survey conducted by FlexJobs It found that more than half of respondents personally knew someone who had resigned or was planning to leave their job due to the return-to-office rule.

TikTok creator @brandnamecereal recently offered some insight into why this has become a bone of contention among many employees.

The main difference, she says, is that in the office she has to “build availability” while experiencing constant interruptions.

“I just remember what it was like to sit at my desk all day versus sitting at my home desk all day, and basically the only difference was when I was at work, I had to do the tasks at hand,” she said in her video. “Full time.”

She says she gets the same amount of work done as she did when she still had to go to the office. What has changed is how you use those small chunks of time between tasks. In the office, “You’re talking on your phone, you’re talking to your coworker,” while at home, “I still log the same amount of work…but when I have five minutes, I don’t.” When I talk to my coworker, I go unload the dishwasher.”

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She admits that for a boss or CEO, using company time for a personal endeavor might be infuriating, but she stresses that it’s all in the end.

“Those five minutes I was waiting for someone to email me would be less productive anyway,” she said.

Chatting with coworkers isn’t productive either, after all. Not having to do chores like unloading the dishwasher after an hour-long commute makes her “consistently more productive” because of the energy it saves, and because “people I don’t want to bother me don’t bother me…I respond to things in a timely manner.”

This makes me think of my brother, who has been assigned to return to the office two days a week — days he says he spends attending the same Zoom meetings he does in his home office and experiencing constant interruptions that result in him having to work home to complete in the evening instead of helping his wife with care. Their children.

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Recent data suggests that working from home actually has a decisive negative impact on productivity, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.

So why this huge discrepancy between workers’ perceptions and the latest data on productivity? The study that has become more important in many companies’ justifications for imposing a return to office work is… One was conducted by economists at MIT and the University of California Which found that working from home led to a decrease in productivity by 18%.

However, there are some problems with this claim. For example, this study focuses exclusively on data entry workers in India – which is not the same as all types of work from home. The creative work I do as a writer and video maker, for example, cannot be measured clearly in the way that a finite amount of data is written into a software system in a finite amount of time. These are not apples-to-apples comparisons.

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more important, Nick Bloom, professor of economics at Stanford UniversityThe decline in productivity shown in recent data can be partly explained by management actions that have not yet adapted to the new way of doing things — a factor, says who has led studies on productivity for decades. Even the most anti-work-from-home studies Also blame more negative productivity reports.

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And when it comes to the broader data on how working from home impacts productivity and especially profitability, the numbers don’t lie.

As Bloom noted, overall U.S. labor productivity growth, which held steady at 1.2% from 2015 to 2020, has risen to 1.5% since the pandemic began in 2020 — a development he called nothing short of a “miracle” given the difficulty and disruption. that we face. These fluctuations have continued ever since, especially in light of the fact that productivity in the United States has been declining for the past decades.

From the perspective of simple profit – which is of course the goal of most companies – the claim that in-office work is generally more productive makes no sense at all. Work-from-home plans eliminate the number one source of overhead costs for businesses – property rents, utility bills, and equipment expenses needed to maintain the office in the first place. It’s like claiming that eliminating your rent or mortgage payments and all your utility bills won’t instantly leave more money in your pocket at the end of each month. This is simply not true, and the suggestion is ridiculous.

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The more conspiracy-minded among us believe that much of this push to return to the office is mostly guided by massive corporate investments in commercial real estate, especially among a small handful of massive private equity firms that essentially own every company and business in America and who exert excessive lobbying influence on State and federal governments. Given how little logic there is to the arguments against home working schemes – and the fact that even the likes of it Nasdaq has recognized And that’s actually one factor – these claims aren’t exactly tinfoil hat territory.

Especially since working from home not only reduces overhead costs, but multiple studies have also found that it significantly reduces employee turnover, makes hiring easier and allows for global hiring, resulting in significant savings in employee retention, recruitment and wage costs.

So CEOs and other entities can demand a return to the office all they want, but this does not stand up to scrutiny – and employees have indicated conclusively that they are not willing to do so. And with a uniformly disgruntled workforce like ours? Business leaders may want to think about all of this.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer covering popular culture, social justice, and human interest topics.

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