A study conducted by Stanford University researchers reveals that employees who worked from home were generally happier and more efficient.
The 10-month study was conducted on the employees of CTrip.com, a travel website company in Shanghai, China with over 14,000 employees. They compared the productivity of office-based workers versus that of home-based workers who worked for just four days a week performing the same tasks.
Results showed that those working from home were 13 percent more productive because they took shorter breaks, were able to take more calls, and filed less sick leaves. Also, fewer of these employees quit over the given period, and reports indicated that they were also largely all the happier with the setup.
Given these results, companies might consider having their employees work from home, as doing so saves them on salary and operational costs.
The study could be improved, though, as it only involved one company, and those who worked from home were actually part of a group who volunteered for the change in logistics. It is notable also, that after the study was completed, the researchers reported that half of those who were initially all for working from home got lonely and decided to return to the office, despite additional transportation costs.
This study shows the potential of such a setup in terms of improved family and community life for employees, while providing greater employment and income opportunities for those residing in distant areas in the region.
"If people can work where they live, they are going to live in different places," says business school economics professor and researcher, John Roberts. "The CTrip employees, many of whom come from rural China and have come to Shanghai to find work, would much rather be at home in the villages and working from there. We interviewed them and they want to do that."