A study of 10,000 workers at an Asian IT company found that when comparing before the pandamic and during (the work from home period), the number of hours worked increased by 30% (including 18% increase outside of normal working hours, but the average output remained the same. This led the researchers to conclude that the overall productivity of remote work declined by 20%.
It’s tough to general conclusions about remote work from this study. A study found that organizational support of remote work correlates with reported productivity which could explain this disparity. We also shouldn’t discount the fact this all occurring suddenly during a global pandemic.
- Two-thirds of remote workers want to continue to work remotely
- Half of Millennials and Gen Z would consider quitting if employers don’t allow remote work
- It’s more difficult for certain groups to be productive—minority job candidates are significantly more worried about being able to work remotely
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While just 5% of the workforce in the US worked from home prior to the pandemic, 20% are expected to work from home permanently.
We can come up with a valuation of remote work by looking at a few signals: what you would forgo, what do you gain, what others gain, and what others lose.
A study performed on Australian workers that looked at contributing factors to developing major depression symptoms found that low pyschosocial safety climate was associated with a threefold increase in risk of development major depression symptoms.
In 2019, Americans spent an average of 55.2 minutes per day commuting. During the COVID-19 pandemic, remote workers have completely eliminated morning commutes which is like a 10% raise (or higher if you are like 10% of Americans that commute two hours per day). The monetary value of saved commuting time would be equivalent to the largest tax cuts for the middle class ever.