Working anywhere, anytime is more productive than working from home

Allowing complete flexibility in where and when to work leads to higher productivity according to Harvard Business School
By: | August 23, 2019

Letting workers decide where and when to do their jobs – whether in another city or in the middle of the night – increases their productivity, reduces turnover, and leads to lower costs. Those are the findings of new research from Harvard Business School into flexible work policies.

Researchers found that employees with liberal “work from anywhere” arrangements, were 4.4% more productive than those following a more traditional “work-from-home” policy that gives schedule flexibility but requires workers to live near the office.

While digital technology has made workers more efficient and easier to reach, many organisations have been slow to let their employees work from home regularly, let alone from anywhere at any time.

But the Harvard Business School findings strengthen the case for flexible working and how it can lead to happier and more productive staff. There are added benefits in reducing commuting costs and the strain on public transport systems.

“For the vast majority of such employers, remote work is a win-win, because the employee can move to a location of choice and save money in cost of living, and the employer will see higher productivity and lower attrition, and save on real estate costs,” says Prithwiraj Choudhury, an associate professor in the Technology and Operations Management Unit at Harvard Business School.