Are Remote Workers Really More Productive?
Harvard Business Review‘s recent article asserting that remote workers are more engaged and committed to their work than their counterparts in the office has sparked debate on the merits of face-time vs. mobility.
Author Scott Edinger says remote workers have an advantage because:
- Proximity breeds complacency.
- Absence makes people try harder to connect.
- Leaders of virtual teams make a better use of tools
- Leaders of far-flung teams maximize the time their teams spend together.
Not surprisingly, this set off a flurry of comments, mostly from remote workers affirming what Edinger says, and stating that they are, indeed, more productive working from home. (With remote workers still being in the minority, this was perhaps their one chance to assert their situation.)
As mobile technology and the BYOD trend increasingly allow for more remote work these days, the question of what environment breeds the most productivity is pressing. Here are what readers had to say:
“I believe that remote work is successful when the employee is self-motivated. But overall, I don’t believe remote work is a silver bullet to creativity and productivity. I believe that the company’s environment and hiring practices has as much to do with productivity then anything else. Promoting active communication and providing the room for employees to succeed is more important in my mind than providing the tools to work remotely”. — Mcgraw05
“I’ve found that remote workers are most effective once they’ve already become a social part of the team. They can only become part of a team if they spend some time together physically.” — Ara ohanian
“At work, everything is about relationships and humans build better relationships in face-to-face interactions. Every study has proven that in-person communication is much better than any virtual tool – since you get a chance to respond to non-verbal feedback as well.” — Alex Joseph
“Your results have to speak for themselves when you’re not in a cubicle down the hall from your supervisor. You can’t cover up for lack of productivity through office politics, sucking up to the boss, or appearing to look busy by running from meeting to meeting. The quality of your work has to stand on its own.” — Marianne Griebler
Tell us what you think in the comments.
Image used under Creative Commons by L Gnome.