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Does working from home really boost employee productivity?

Does your open plan office make your employees less productive? We all experience distraction at work, from checking smartphones to scrolling through social media to chatting with colleagues. Is the best way to avoid this distraction simply to work from home?

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The Facts

study in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization showed that working from home has a distinct increase in productivity. However, the gains were evident mostly when home-workers were engaged in creative tasks. Whereas dull and mundane work was actually adversely affected.

Similarly, an Oxford Economics survey of 1,200 senior executives and staff members worldwide explored challenges and opportunities in the modern workplace. Among the findings were:

  • Lose the interruptions.

    Working without interruption is a top priority for employees when it comes to office design. Amenities like free food are less important.

  • Compulsive distractions.

    A third of employees use their technology out of habit, for social engagement, or out of fear of missing out. This study by Nottingham Trent University showed that the average smartphone user picks up their device 85 times a day – twice as often as they realise.

  • Leadership is out of touch.

    Almost two-thirds of executives believe employees have the proper tools to manage distractions at work. Less than half of their employees concur.

  • The right technology.

    While employees are expected to be available remotely, only 40% report having the devices at home that are capable of working seamlessly with their work tools.

Slow-technology

>> Get the right technology: download Yoozoom’s Essential Guide to Cloud Telephony.

In Action

Harvard Business Review article details the results of an experiment at Chinese travel agency start-up Ctrip. Employees were allowed to volunteer to work at home for nine months.

Using performance data and employee surveys, Ctrip found the at-home workers were more productive, less likely to quit, and happier. At-home employees, for example, finished 13.5 percent more phone calls per week than their in-office colleagues. On top of this, the company saved an average of $1,900 per employee on furniture and space costs.

With technological advances and clear data, there are ample reasons to consider an expanded work-at-home strategy for many companies.
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What about technology?

There’s no doubt about it – going cloud is a godsend for remote workers.

Almost all operations can be moved into the cloud – CRM, email, storage, VoIP (cloud telephony), messaging apps etc. Whilst in the past remote access meant needing an IT team to set up VPN’s and encrypted logins, employees can now log on from anywhere just as they would in the office.

With cloud technology, your employees can work from anywhere with the exact same capability and access as in-office staff. They can collaborate on shared documents and presentations, use common databases and even hold virtual meetings from wherever they are in the world.

You save further costs as there’s no need for expensive hardware, as data is stored securely off-site and you simply pay a software subscription fee per user. Remote employees don’t waste time travelling to meetings in favour of virtual collaboration, or having to ask colleagues to send them documents from the work server.

Yoozoom’s speciality is cloud telephony. We only sell cloud as it’s the perfect partner to modern working, streamlining all communications into a flexible and simple-to-use system. You can even integrate it with your other cloud apps such as CRMs and Microsoft Office 365 for extra efficiency.

Summary

Working from home has been proven to keep staff happy, save your business money and increase productivity when it comes to more creative work. Your employees want to concentrate, so make sure you have the right (cloud) technology in place, and you will be rewarded with hard work and loyalty.

Is your phone system in the cloud yet? Find out how cloud telephony is helping businesses like yours boost workforce efficiency, save money and enhance customer service:

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