Some believe that people who prefer working from home are lazy because it is their easy way out from hard work as they don’t have their managers watching their every step.
Moreover, if you search for jobs from home on Google you’ll be left with a list of underpaid or low-level jobs with links next to them suggesting ‘real’ jobs.
However, Nicholas Bloom, a Stanford University Professor of Business, says that asking employees to be at work at a certain time is an outdated tradition from the Industrial Revolution and it needs to die since it is not effective today.
According to Bloom, the inflexibility that goes hand in hand with setting office working hours is not applicable in today’s modern ways of communication. Plus, the long commutes and the (strict) working methods can actually harm the firm and its employees.
In his TED Talk, Bloom says that he thinks that working from home is the future and that it has enormous potential.
He tested this theory by studying China’s largest travel agency – Crip, located in Shanghai. This company has 20,000 employees and a market value of approximately $20 billion. The company’s managers were interested in the idea of letting its employees work from home to see the difference.
Will they continue to grow by letting their employees work from home thus lowering their office costs?
The study included volunteers in which half of them were asked to work from home in the next 9 months and working at the office one day a week, and the other half were only working at the office.
Bloom followed the two groups during the span of 2 years. The results were amazing – there had been a massive improvement in the performance of those volunteers that worked from home for 13%.
Bloom says that there are 2 reasons for this boost of performance. The first one is that the employees working from home worked during their whole shift without any disturbances like a traffic delay, taking lunch and chatting with colleagues, and so on.
The second reason is, Bloom says, that people who work in the comfort of their own homes can concentrate better. Usually, offices are noisy places where people can be disturbed very often and for any reason; Someone has a birthday? – Come and taste the cake.
Moreover, Bloom found that the company’s resignations dropped by amazingly 50% when the company allowed its workers to work from home.
Finally, he hopes that his findings will finally break the stereotype that exists about people working from home.
“For employees, they’re much more productive and happier. For managers, you don’t have to spend so much time recruiting and training people. For firms, you make far more profit. For society, there’s a huge saving of reducing congestion, driving times, and ultimately, pollution. There’s not much to lose, and there’s a lot to gain,” he says.