New Study Uncovers the Secrets of Remote Work Productivity (Video & Podcast)

4 min read
Secrets of Remote Work Productivity

To ensure remote work productivity, businesses should support remote workers by providing the necessary tools, training, and communication channels. That’s the key take-away message of this episode of the Wise Decision Maker Show, which discusses results of a new study about remote work productivity.

Video: “New Study Uncovers the Secrets of Remote Work Productivity”

Podcast: “New Study Uncovers the Secrets of Remote Work Productivity”

Links Mentioned in Videocast and Podcast


Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of the wise decision maker show where we help you make the wisest and most profitable decisions. I want to talk today about a new study that uncovers the secrets of remote work productivity. Let’s talk a little bit about the study. And then we’ll talk about the broader context in which the study functions. What it shows us, it doesn’t show us what we know about remote work productivity. So this surprising study for some people, the big key Fredman Institute found that remote workers saved two hours per week in 2021 2022, because they didn’t have to commute. And 40% of the time saved was allocated to work activities. So that’s 45 minutes more minutes per day of work per week. The study confirms lots of previous data showed that workers are more productive when they’re working remotely. So let’s talk a little bit about that data. There was a Stanford University study that found that remote workers were 5% more productive than office workers in the summer of 2021 just made the transition or figuring out okay, the lock downs, how do we do your work remotely, the productivity difference increased to 9% By the spring of 2022. So to increase, people didn’t become less productive, they became more productive by the spring of 2022. Organizations because of work became more familiar with remote work practices, how to collaborate more effectively, remotely, how managers learned how to lead teams remotely, how to coordinate projects, and they invested in the technology to support it. Both organizations invested and workers invested into the work from home offices, and ability to work from home effectively. Now, overall, we have extensive data that remote work leads to higher productivity. Employee monitoring software is one example. It found that remote workers are more efficient than office workers by at least 5%. The National Bureau of Economic Research Study and productivity found that in tech finance and other remote work capable industries, they increased their productivity by 1.1% per year, on average, from 29 to from 2010 to 2019. But during the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021. They increase their productivity by 3.3%. And these are again remote capable industries. What about jobs requiring in person contact like restaurants and so on? Well, they increased their productivity by 6% per year from 2010 to 2019. But the increase in their productivity by 2.6% per year in 2020 and 2021, the pandemic years of remote work in wages, let’s talk a little bit about what the research shows there. We know that workers are ready to accept lower wages for more remote work if they have the flexibility of working from home. So another National Bureau of Economic Research study found that remote work, so it’s a different study, decreased wage growth by 2%. During the first two years there was a pandemic because people didn’t switch jobs, then demand was high if they could work remotely. And there’s extensive evidence showing that there is a survey of 3000 workers and top companies, which show that 64% would prefer permanent work from home over a $30,000 pay raise. Just a huge pay raise, sorry, $30,000. Just about two thirds would prefer permanent work from home to the $30,000 pay raise. Now, what are the benefits of remote work productivity? Well, employees aren’t just more able to accomplish more tasks in less time when working from home because they are not wasting their time commuting as we saw from the breaky freedom Institute, Becker Friedman Institute Research that they spent a lot of the time 40% of the time they didn’t waste commuting on their work, and they’re able to create a comfortable and efficient home environment. Now some people work in environments at home. Some people prefer an environment that’s warmer, some people prefer an environment that’s colder, they don’t fight over the thermostat. Some people prefer a very sound environment. Some people like the chitter chatter of the noise out of the office around them, and they can turn on their music, you know, there’s actually office ambient sounds if they want that they can have the kind of music they like they can have, they can go out and go get the weather or kind of snacks they like from the fridge as an aspect of comfort, and they’re able to be much less distracted. So most people don’t like open offices. Most people don’t like the people’s ability to just drop by and interrupt them at any time. And also the loudness of the office is distracting. We know that it decreases productivity, so they’re able to stay much more on task and avoid distractions. Whether working from home. And remote work also helps save on cost of living expenses. companies that offer remote work opportunities they clearly save and work requested. Living expenses, because they can hire workers in lower cost of living areas in the US and abroad. You don’t have to hire. If you’re based in San Francisco, you can hire someone in the middle of Montana. And they will be willing to work for a lower wage, or even hire someone in Chile and they’ll be willing to work for a lower wage while still having not too far different time zones. So it’s a more productive use of financial and human resources. We also know through mouth work improves work life balance, it helps prevent burnout, which increases productivity and retention. So this gets you happier and more fulfilled than pro employees, which of course improves productivity and performance. And there’s fewer distractions and interruptions, which improves time and energy management. And ensuring remote work productivity does take some effort, because in order to fully realize the benefits of remote work, businesses need to invest into their employees they need to provide their employees with necessary technology like laptops, internet connectivity, collaboration tools, like Trello or Asana, or Microsoft Teams, project management tools and training and support they need to train and so people for and support remote collaboration, communication, innovation, leadership and teamwork. Alright, everyone, I hope you’ve benefited from this episode of the wise decision maker show on remote work productivity. Please make sure to subscribe to the show wherever you check us out and leave a review. It really helps others discover the show and then helps us improve the show. Alright everyone, I look forward to seeing you in our next episode of the wise decision maker show. In the meantime, the wisest and most profitable decisions, my friends.

Transcribed by

Dr. Gleb Tsipursky was lauded as “Office Whisperer” and “Hybrid Expert” by The New York Times for helping leaders use hybrid work to improve retention and productivity while cutting costs. He serves as the CEO of the boutique future-of-work consultancy Disaster Avoidance Experts. Dr. Gleb wrote the first book on returning to the office and leading hybrid teams after the pandemic, his best-seller Returning to the Office and Leading Hybrid and Remote Teams: A Manual on Benchmarking to Best Practices for Competitive Advantage (Intentional Insights, 2021). He authored seven books in total, and is best know for his global bestseller, Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters (Career Press, 2019). His cutting-edge thought leadership was featured in over 650 articles and 550 interviews in Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, USA Today, CBS News, Fox News, Time, Business Insider, Fortune, and elsewhere. His writing was translated into Chinese, Korean, German, Russian, Polish, Spanish, French, and other languages. His expertise comes from over 20 years of consulting, coaching, and speaking and training for Fortune 500 companies from Aflac to Xerox. It also comes from over 15 years in academia as a behavioral scientist, with 8 years as a lecturer at UNC-Chapel Hill and 7 years as a professor at Ohio State. A proud Ukrainian American, Dr. Gleb lives in Columbus, Ohio. In his free time, he makes sure to spend abundant quality time with his wife to avoid his personal life turning into a disaster. Contact him at Gleb[at]DisasterAvoidanceExperts[dot]com, follow him on LinkedIn @dr-gleb-tsipursky, Twitter @gleb_tsipursky, Instagram @dr_gleb_tsipursky, Facebook @DrGlebTsipursky, Medium @dr_gleb_tsipursky, YouTube, and RSS, and get a free copy of the Assessment on Dangerous Judgment Errors in the Workplace by signing up for the free Wise Decision Maker Course at