By: Chris O'Shea
Your Daily Lounge editors work from home, which means we always say working from our abodes makes us more productive, even if it's not always true. A new study from a pilot program in the United Kingdom finally has the data to back our claim up.
O2, a large telecommunication company in England, recently asked 3,000 staffers if they would like to work from home and report their feelings about the situation. The idea came to O2 because it is preparing for dealing with the upcoming Olympics, which will disrupt transportation systems across the region. If working from home was better, the thinking went, then perhaps not much worker productivity will be lost when the Olympics come to town.
Of the 3,000 employees that were asked to take part in the program, only 125 opted to come into the office and work like dummies. That left 2,875 people to take part in the survey, which is one hell of a sample size. Of the stay at home workers, 37 percent said that they felt more productive working from home. They also saved O2 about $15,000 in commuting costs, kept pollution down because there were 1,000 less cars used that day and saved O2 in heating, water and electricity costs. The stay home employees also worked an extra 1,000 hours or so that would have normally been spent commuting.
O2's business director, Ben Down, told The Telegraph that the experiment not only provided a glimpse into the flexibility of businesses, but was a wild success. “The principles underlying flexible working really are the principles that will build the future of work, and determine the way that people, technology and buildings interact in the decades and centuries ahead," Dowd explained. "[The study] proves that even the largest organisations can protect themselves from the most severe disruptions to their business."
There you have it. While we would love it if the Daily Lounge purchased a large office equipped with nap rooms, snacks, pool tables, air hockey tables, kegs and a full bar — you know, like any normal working environment — this study confirms what we already knew: Working from home is the best.
And no, we're not going to get into the fact that O2's results were based on reports from workers who obviously wanted to make working from home seem more productive. No need for that. We're much too busy with other projects to dissect the validity of their claims.
[Pic via Flickr – Shame Adams]