Ever since the lockdown, there is widespread debate over whether working from home is good or not.
Different peoples have different opinions. Some say that work from home is a better option and the company should permanently implement this, while others are with an altogether different opinion. The other group has the opinion that working from an office is a better option.
Each of these groups has a different explanation that seems true on their part. For example, people upvoting work from home option says that they can customize their work according to themselves. The fatigues that they were facing while traveling is not there and they have more time to spend with their families which in turn is boosting their performance.
While the other group that is in favor of working from the office says that while working from the office they are more productive as they can concentrate more over there.
While both the groups are giving their own viewpoints, the discussion became more intense when efficiency while working remotely was taken into consideration.
To get everyone out of this dilemma, we conducted a survey where we approached many business owners, new entrepreneurs, and business analysts to record their opinion on whether working remotely is good or bad. We got plenty of responses based on which we came to a conclusion.
Check out the answers and in the end, we will be giving a concluding argument that will be based on the majority.
Expert Opinions on Efficiency While Working Remotely
Sean Nguyen (Director)
Our company has actually been operating remotely for a few years, so I believe I have more accurate data about this, in some ways. A lot of the productivity and efficiency data that’s coming out right now is skewed by the psychology of this pandemic. People are scared, anxious, and tired, so they may not be doing their best. It’s an emergency situation, after all. What we’ve been able to observe over a longer period of time is that our overall efficiency as a company has absolutely grown once we switched to remote working. People work better, in general, when left to their own devices, in their own environment. We’ve had to change the way we track productivity, as we now focus more on results, rather than on the strict number of hours the people work. I also kind of allow everyone to work whenever is more convenient to them, as much as possible. That’s 100% the most efficient model we’ve ever followed.
Carrie McKeegan (CEO & Co-Founder)
Greenback Tax Services
Working remotely seems to offer increased efficiency because, to be successful, remote work requires that there be time-management procedures put in place to be successful. Perhaps the most important thing is to migrate to a tool that allows teammates to communicate seamlessly during the day and then turn off after work to avoid burnout. We use combined project management and communication tool called Podio. In one system, we can track tasks, manage projects, and chat.
Additionally, this allows us to take a look at our tasks and determine if we are utilizing our time appropriately and with the greatest impact on deadlines. It can also help in understanding the time that is typically spent on specific tasks, as well as hours dedicated to particular clients. In doing so, team members can learn to work more efficiently and, as a company, we have a deeper understanding of time expectancies.
David Toby (Director)
Project time tracking has been a life-saver in terms of identifying time-draining tasks and clients and improving efficiency – which was something that we’ve implemented across our agency just before COVID hit, and when the in-house staff had to transit to working remote, our processes were humming along smoothly as we had already nutted out the initial teething issues. I would like to say that our efficiency has increased since working remotely, because the staff is actually able to see where they’re time was going, and were held accountable for it, but it wouldn’t be 100% fair to claim that fully!
In terms of project time tracking, we use Toggl. The main thing I love about it is the ability to segment reports by project, client, and employee and look for specific time drains within the company. Best of all, it integrates with Asana, our project management tool.
Phillip Lew (CEO)
Our team has always worked remotely and so far, we haven’t had any problems with efficiency and productivity. In fact, more often than not, our deadlines are met ahead of time and our productivity usually exceeds expectations. We use several applications to track efficiency and productivity. We use Hubstaff to track time worked; Notion for task management; Hubspot for staff/sales/applicant management; Google Drive for documentations, sheets, data, and the like; Skype and Zoom for teleconferencing; and other applications we may deem necessary.
David Johnson (Chief Technology Officer)
Our team productivity (as measured by sprint completion and work completion rates) initially decreased when COVID-19 started but is now higher than it was pre-COVID-19. Our teams have fully embraced the distributed architecture and the points per sprint have generally increased by about 13% over the past few sprint cycles. Furthermore, employee engagement is up 32% by measuring emails and Slack communications per week and based on monitoring Jira ticket comments, the amount of people working together on issues has increased by 56%. So, since going remote, team members are doing more, communicating more, and working together more.
We didn’t so much change our tools, but lightened up control over the workflow and encouraged more one-on-one communications as well as individual decision-making. We also adopted visual collaboration software (Miro) and while roughly 78% of employees use it 1x per week or more, it’s difficult to attribute causality to any one point. The key for us has been an increase in written/ticket-based communications and change in the workflow – breaking down silos and having fewer, but more impactful, meetings.
Michael Hammelburger (CEO)
The Bottom Line Group
Proper coordination is the key. We implement a process called “time audit”. It involves my staff writing down their intentions and views on how they’ve spent their time in the office and then tracking how they actually work. We notice that there’s a significant difference between what they intend to do and the real actions they’ve taken. Time-tracking tools are not a guarantee that managers can still keep tabs on employees through the logs provided by a workplace app. Besides, the goal of managers is on the output and not on the clicks on the keyboard as what apps like Time Doctor provide. Even so, some apps take a screenshot of the work or a photo of the employee every 15 minutes. This encroaches on one’s privacy.
We also use Trello because of its easy-to-use features where we can add tags, labels, and categories. The drag-and-drop feature of cards makes task management a lot easier. Furthermore, as the CEO and overall project manager in our firm, I take advantage of its progress charts, the Kanban board view, and the Gantt charts. These all help me track developments a lot easier.
Jenna Carson (Marketing Director)
Overall, our team’s efficiency has improved while working remotely, although at the beginning there were some adjustments to be made and some things to get used to. We already had some project management software in place, which we were using on a fairly ad-hoc basis. Making full use of the functionality of this software has meant that we have been able to measure productivity a lot more accurately and have been able to move forward with projects much more efficiently. We keep track of efficiency by using the tools we have available to set up projects, assign tasks, and measure progress with these tasks. It also allows us to spot problem areas and make changes where necessary. Although there are challenges to efficiency when working remotely, we are lucky to have access to the project management and communication tools out there.
Blake Sutton (Operations Manager)
Working remotely can actually increase efficiency, as there are numerous distractions that are removed when team members are working at home. Many remote workers mention getting in the zone when discussing their workflow, as this is much easier to accomplish when no one is tapping on the office door, or if you need to break to attend yet another sales meeting. While there will always be distractions of some sort, no matter where you are working, when doing so in a remote atmosphere, you are in a position to have greater control over those distractions and limit them to only the dire necessities.
Monitoring this can be as simple as looking at the time used to complete a project when in an office environment, compared to the same or similar project when working remotely. More times than not, you’ll find that you can complete more tasks in the same timeframe when working remotely.
David Bakke (Team Manager)
National Air Warehouse
I head a team of remote workers who have mostly been working in that fashion from the get-go, but we have had a few added on because of the pandemic. In my estimation, we are working better remotely because of some of the tips and advice I’ve provided to them.
First and foremost, the need to work from a daily, hand-written To-Do List. I prefer it much more compared to To-Do list apps. I encourage my remote team to use this To-Do list and to create it with three categories in mind. First, the stuff that needs to get done that day.
The second category is for things they need to get to but can wait if necessary. And the final category is for more menial tasks that can be taken care of on slower days. Whatever doesn’t get finished out of the last two categories goes to the forefront of the next day’s list. They’re also required to take extra breaks which is essential to the success of a remote worker. We’re not technically calculating it as of yet, but from a step back, I can say with a great deal of certainty that they are more efficient. There are plenty of tools available for tracking remote team productivity, and we are investigating several of them. They include but aren’t limited to 1Password, RescueTime, Toggl, and Time Doctor.
RankSoldier International Private Limited
Working from home always evokes mixed reactions from people. As far as I am concerned, I personally opine that my team efficiency has increased due to the work-from-home facility. I suggested them to take breaks in between especially when they feel distracted. This could be from grabbing snacks in case of hunger pangs or walking around their home or even calling colleagues or friends to beat the stress. This would allow them to resume work even with more focus. The team should be allowed to follow the same schedule which they followed when they were coming to the office. It is unethical to overload your employees with necessary work just because they are at home. It is important to have every employee on the same page so that no one feels sidelined. I try to upkeep with their latest work developments through WhatsApp group or google hangout to stay connected with each other. Conducting regular meetings online and practicing good workplace etiquette, team efficiency can be retained and bettered.
Catherine Way (Marketing Manager)
Prime Plus Mortgages
We are a completely remote company! For us, we found it is far more efficient and our workers are more productive when they have the flexibility to work from home. We use tools like Trello to make sure important tasks are being completed but there is far more work produced with our smaller team than we had when we had an office set-up.
David Reischer (Attorney & CEO)
We have worked with remote workers since 2014 and there are certainly distinct challenges of keeping remote employees connected, productive, and efficient. A remote worker can be much more productive and efficient working out of their domicile if they are given the proper leadership on their role within the organization. We have a training program to that end. The best way to keep a remote worker productive and efficient is to make sure company tools and tutorials exist to provide guidance to any new hires so that they can better interact with the company. A company needs to make sure to have a strong internal platform system to push out educational content and also track the performance of all remote workers. A company also needs to listen to feedback from remote workers on how to improve existing company systems to help make the remote workers’ partnership a success.
Willie Greer (Founder)
The Product Analyst
I have recognized how my team became more efficient despite the sudden shift to remote working. Tasks are submitted on time and sometimes, even prior. I have also noticed a sudden increase in our team’s earnings, which I measure through our company’s private system. However, I believe there are a lot of other tools that other companies have been using as well to determine the increase in their revenues.
Christine Wang (Founder)
The Ski Girl
I am the founder of a website and we have been working remotely as of late. I wanted to respond to your query as I have some insight and experience with this style of work and its efficiency that I wanted to share.
First off, I do think that my team’s efficiency has increased while working remotely. While I’m thankful to have a group that I trust to get work done and be productive, I think the flexibility that working from home allows has given my team a chance to reset and refresh amongst the current state of the world. This has decreased burnout and stress and I’ve seen more quality work across the board.
I have a handful of writers on the team and remote work has really seemed to increase the quality of their content as well as speed up the time it takes to get their assignments completed. At first, I thought the opposite would occur but to my surprise, it did not. I measure this simply by how many articles and words they are submitting, an easy sign of productivity. Alongside this, the quality has increased as well.
I’m a big fan of using project management software for our remote projects and clients and this helps track and encourage productivity and efficiency as well. We utilize the great features of both Trello and Basecamp to stay connected and coherent as a team and have had great success using these tools.
Mark Lee (CEO)
Splashtop is a leading remote access software firm, released findings from its May 2020 online Work-From-Home Survey of 870 random respondents in various fields. Survey results indicate that although more than one-third of respondents had never worked from home prior to the COVID-19 pandemic—and another one-third had rarely worked remotely—an overwhelming 80 percent of the group reported being more or equally productive working from home.
Respondents included IT professionals, game developers, video producers, architects, TV broadcasting professionals, retailers, K-12 and college educators, and healthcare professionals. A full 75 percent of these respondents were using remote access solutions to effectively work from home. Significantly, this group encompassed employees whose work depends on employers’ licensed applications requiring to compute or bandwidth-intensive resources—such as high-end workstations or data center servers—that is difficult to replicate in a home-office setting.
Before the global COVID-19 pandemic, many of these professionals were unable to work remotely because they couldn’t replicate the resources at home to run their licensed software applications, said Mark Lee, CEO of Splashtop. Additionally, it’s crucial that access to remote resources be secure. Fortunately, next-generation remote access solutions are opening up new possibilities for more kinds of work to be done securely and productively from home.
Ultimately, the Splashtop Work-From-Home Survey highlights the importance of effective remote tools and sheds light on this new normal of working from home that the COVID-19 pandemic spurred.
Before COVID-19, 71 percent of the survey respondents had never or rarely worked from home. Only 7.8 percent described themselves as already being remote workers. These numbers depict the challenge that organizations faced when suddenly required to enable entire workforces to work from home, almost overnight.
At the time of the survey, 80 percent of respondents, now working from home, reported being more (40.5 percent) or equally (39.5 percent) productive compared to when they reported working in an office. They cited the use of collaboration/communication tools (e.g., Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Skype, WebEx, Google Classroom) and remote access tools (Splashtop, VPN, TeamViewer, LogMeIn) as contributing to their productivity gains.
In fact, 75 percent of the group said they used remote access solutions to effectively work from home.
Almost 75 percent of the group expected that their companies might be more open to working from home even after the pandemic’s restrictions abate, with 28 percent of participants suggesting that working from home might become the new normal for their companies.
These findings indicate that workers and organizations pushed by COVID-19 to implement widespread work-from-home strategies are experiencing, especially with the right remote access tools in place, that they can often actually increase productivity, said Lee.
Although the pandemic continues to have devastating impacts on the economy, many of the large tech and other companies able to implement work-from-home strategies are doing fine. When we add in things like lower operating and travel costs and higher employee satisfaction when working from home, it’s very likely that companies will see higher WFH adoption sustained over time, said Lee. Supporting this prediction are recent announcements from enterprises including Twitter, Facebook, and Amazon that plan to extend their work-from-home options beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
As per the survey, most of the people are of the opinion that working remotely has increased the efficiency of the employees and are thinking of practicing the same in the long run.
An internal survey was also conducted in Dignitas Digital and most of the employees do agree to the fact that working from home has given them more peace of mind and they have managed to perform way better while being at the office.