Working From Home: Does It Work?

Everyone dreams of the day they gain both the freedom and flexibility to work from home. But however relaxing and blissful it may seem, could it hurt your work performance? Harvard Business Review doesn’t seem to think so.

A recent post on the Harvard Business Review Blog Network reveals some interesting insights into the working from home debate. Earlier this year, HBR collected daily electronic diaries from employees at a New York bank. Here’s what they found:

“… one particularly interesting pattern popped out of the data: strongly positive comments from employees on the occasional days that they worked from home. Again and again, we saw people writing about how refreshing it was to be freed from office distractions and to have the opportunity to catch up on work… The reasons they cited included increased focus, greater creativity, saved time that would otherwise have been spent commuting, and feeling relaxed and comfortable.”

Another study by Stanford revealed that call center employees at a Chinese company who were randomly assigned to work from home for nine months were more productive and more satisfied with their jobs than their non-remote peers.

While the Harvard Business Review blog did note that the participants of both studies had work of an inherently independent nature, they also noted this:

“Our past research found that, of all the events that can keep people happily engaged on the job, the single most important is making progress in meaningful work. So, if working remotely leads people to feel more positive and make more progress, that’s a pretty powerful endorsement.”

Bottom line? Working from home can be highly beneficial for people in certain, independent kinds of work.

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