Want to Be a More Productive Worker? Research Says Stay Home

Are you a telecommuter? If you've got a quiet, private place to work, you're probably more efficient.

Do you work from home? So does a lot of America.

One recent study (PDF) compared people who worked from home and in an office at the same company and found the following:

We find a highly significant 13% increase in performance from home-working, of which 9% is from working more minutes of their shift period (fewer breaks and sick-days) and 3.5% from higher performance per minute. We find no negative spillovers onto workers left in the office. Home workers also reported substantially higher work satisfaction and psychological attitude scores, and their job attrition rates fell by over 50%.


That's a pretty big boost to productivity. Bear in mind, though, that to qualify for the experiment, workers had to have been with the company for at least six months and, crucially, had to have access to broadband and a private room at home from which they could work.

Wonder if it has anything to do with the idea that people who work from home are also more likely to work overtime (PDF).

Photo via Flickr (cc) user dprevite.