Remote work leads to increased productivity

Employees working from home are using the time saved from not having to commute on increasing their productivity, says a new report.
By: | February 2, 2023

The time that employees would have spent commuting to the office is typically spent working when they are permitted to work remotely.

In the Global Survey of Working Arrangements (G-SWA) study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), an American research organisation, employees save 72 minutes in commute time each day by working from home instead of in the office. Of this, approximately was spent on work, 34% on leisure activities, and 11% on caregiving.

“That’s a large time savings, especially when multiplied by hundreds of millions of workers around the world,” said NBER.

The G-SWA study, which was conducted between late July and early August 2021 and in an overlapping set of 25 countries in late January and early February 2022, collected data from approximately 19,000 to 35,000 employees in 15 to 25 countries.

READ: Is remote work stymieing business innovation?

At the time of the survey, it was found that employees worked from home 1.7 days per week, saving two hours per week per employee in 2021 and 2022. However, as organisations plan to reduce remote work policies, this time savings will drop to one hour per week per employee.

The study equates this to 2.2% of a 46-hour workweek, which includes 40 hours of work and six hours of commuting. The daily commute time savings varied among countries, with the US at the lower end with 55 minutes saved and countries like India, Japan and China saving up to 100 to 102 minutes. Most countries had a daily commute time exceeding an hour.