# A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding the Efficiency of Remote Work
Remote work has become the new standard, and it is here to stay. Even employees who initially missed being in the office have come to embrace the freedom that comes with working from home. This begs the question: is remote work more efficient than physically being in an office? According to studies, remote work is a more productive environment for employees and can improve an organization’s productivity in various ways.
## Why is remote work more efficient?
Commuting to and from the office can be a time-consuming and stressful process. With remote work, employees can save time and energy by simply rolling out of bed and starting work right away. Remote work cuts two hours of prep and traffic time per day, which improves the mood and happiness of workers. With a 45-minute commute one way, the hours spent in traffic alone add up to more than 25 hours of saved time per month. Besides cutting down commuting time, remote work eliminates distractions from noisy open floor plan office spaces.
Another thing that lowers productivity aside from distractions is an overbearing or intimidating boss. According to Stress.org, 35% of workers report that the biggest stress factor in an office environment is communicating with a boss or a leadership figure. Meeting on web-based video conferencing platforms has the effect of leveling the playing field. Remote meetings can reduce the stress of in-person meetings. None of the power dynamics are available to the boss, like standing while you sit, or potentially the office furniture layout puts you at a disadvantage. In fact, giving the boss the same challenges with microphones, cameras, and other technology allows everyone in the conversation to have equal standing.
## Remote work requires organization
A common pushback on remote work often comes from micromanagers who feel more confident if they can closely oversee employees. While some employees may not thrive in self-directed circumstances, smart organizations can focus on helping employees become more productive without direct supervision. They can also improve online supervision techniques by utilizing new technologies for secure video conferencing and always-on meeting tools.
Organizations that can help remote workers with structure and clear expectations will be more effective than those who ignore the problem. Being productive while working remotely requires more personal organization. In an office, there are structural elements that help organize your day and workspace. At home, things that are common in an office, such as office equipment, ergonomic chairs, and quiet spaces, may not be available. Remote workers need to create a schedule that works for them and establish boundaries between work and personal life.
## Remote employees are happier
Many companies are trying to drive people back into the office because ‘it’s always been done this way.’ However, a study by Tracking Happiness concluded that working remotely or hybrid increases employee satisfaction and happiness by more than 20%. The survey was taken by more than 13,000 participants from Asia, North America, and Europe.
According to the surveyed people:
– Having an office-based work environment will make them less happy
– They prefer hybrid or remote work to be the norm
– Commute time plays a big role in dissatisfaction with office work
– Having to spend lunch breaks at or near the office is a negative
– Millennials prefer to work only from home
Remote work keeps employees happy and satisfied, which, in turn, helps to retain top talent.
## Remote work has a better ROI
Remote work is not only beneficial for employees, but it also has a positive impact on businesses. People are more productive when working remotely, and with them working off-site, companies have fewer office expenses. This has led to a paradigm shift in how companies think about employee training and collaboration. In the past, companies used to plan off-site training and send their on-site employees to a local hotel, conference center, or specialized collaboration space to ‘get away’ from the office distractions for important training or planning sessions.
What if most of your employees are already off-site remote workers? What do you do with your underutilized office space? You can turn your off-site meetings into on-site meetings at your office, and eliminate the expense of third-party meeting spaces. Utilize the space you have with periodic on-site collaboration and training sessions for your remote workers.
There is still a need for office space, but how it will be utilized in the future is still unclear. In the next few years, as building leases begin to expire, the full impact of this reduced office expense will be known.
Remote work is more efficient, productive, and leads to happier employees. Remote work requires more personal organization, and organizations need to support remote workers to help create an environment conducive to productivity. Remote work has a positive impact on businesses, and companies need to start considering new ways to utilize their office space. Remote work is the new normal, and it’s time for companies to embrace it.