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Can Remote Work be as Productive as Office Work?

Remote working is growing in popularity, with thousands of Brits taking the opportunity to work from home or another location if their employer offers it to them. Research by YouGov, conducted on behalf of Redcentric, has found that 54% of UK office workers are currently able to work remotely, with 70% of them agreeing that it’s important for businesses to allow their staff to work away from the traditional office environment.

But there’s still a misconception lingering around the idea of remote working. Many businesses still don’t trust that their staff members will be productive enough for it to be worthwhile.

The statistics say otherwise. A study by CV-Library found that 84.3% of home workers found they were equally or more productive than their office-bound counterparts. The same survey found that 77.4% of the entire UK population believe working from home has a positive impact on productivity, while 65.8% also admitted they worked longer hours when working remotely. The aforementioned YouGov study also found that only 17% of the 2,000 survey respondents said remote working reduced their efficiency – a small minority.

Of course, there are still those who disagree, even with the information laid out in front of them. Marissa Mayer, the CEO of Yahoo! famously banned remote working, with the firm stating that ‘some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings’. There are certainly those who believe working from the office will never truly die out, because there are many businesses which can only operate with a headquarters packed full of productive staff.

So – to answer our question: can remote work be as productive as office work? The answer appears to be yes; but there are caveats. Remote work isn’t suitable for every business, nor will it be suitable for every employee. It requires a certain mindset to be a successful remote worker, whether you’re simply working from home or out on the road visiting client locations. Some businesses are more naturally suited to remote working – marketing, for example, could function almost entirely with teams working from home offices. Some businesses demand remote working – home care, contract cleaning and security organisations need to deploy remote staff, because it’s the only way their service users get what they’re paying for.

If you’re considering introducing remote working as an option for your staff, start out with a small trial, and ensure there are extensive ways in which you can monitor your employees. You might be surprised by the positive results!