If you're seeking to work from home, new research shows that you can make a compelling case when pitching the concept to superiors: that you'll increase your productivity.
A Stanford University study of 13,000 employees conducted over nine months shows that those working from home are 12% more efficient than their office-bound counterparts. The study also finds a 50% increase in satisfaction among those working at home.
A direct connection between the two results could translate to more work from home opportunities in the coming years. Ctrip, an online travel agency specializing in trips to China, is already banking on productivity and happiness increasing with work at home – it is offering the chance to all of its staffers.
Telecommunication and technological advancements have made work from home more feasible than in decades past. A 1985 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report found eight million Americans worked at least eight hours a week from home, or roughly 7% of the workforce. That figure has nearly quadrupled.
To make turning home into the office realistic, you'll need to be tech savvy. Co-workers cannot simply swing by your desk, so maintaining uninterrupted connectivity is essential. That means Skyping into meetings, responding promptly to email, and making a smart phone a permanent fixture at your side. Being reachable at any time during the work day – and sometimes, after hours – compensates for a lack of physical presence.
Your work at home opportunities are greatest if you work in education, training and library occupations (11.8% of its labor force according to a 2009 BLS study); computer and mathematical sciences (9.8%); personal care (8.8%); or management (7.1%). Launching your own business is the most likely route to at-home employment.
A 64.2% majority of all homebound staffers are self-employed, and 38.9% hold more than one job. Employees with more extensive educational backgrounds are the most likely to work from home – nearly 14% more likely, the BLS says. Over 36% of all homebound employees have at least a Bachelors degree.
If your pitch to work from home is built around productivity, ensuring home is an efficiency-fostering environment is the most obvious and important detail. Those who want to escape the distractions of the office should be ready to prove that they won't replace them with distractions around the house.