One in five Americans who work from home spend one hour or less working, according to new CareerBuilder survey.
It’s a debate as old as time: Is working from home an efficient alternative to the traditional office job or a productivity killer?
Thanks to the results of a new CareerBuilder survey on telecommuting, the debate…well, continues. According to the survey of nearly 5,300 employees nationwide, of those Americans who telecommute at least part of the time…
- 17 percent spend one hour or less per day on work
- 35 percent say they work eight or more hours per day (up from 18 percent who said the same in 2007)
- 40 percent work between four and seven hours per day
Thanks to the mass adoption of smart phones and advanced network technologies, Americans are able to work from home on a more regular basis than they were four years ago. Ten percent telecommute at least once a week – up from eight percent in 2007.
“The autonomy of working from home can be very rewarding so long as it doesn’t diminish productivity,” says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. In order to ensure telecommuters are staying productive, managers should be clear about expectations and establish daily objectives, Haefner advises.
Telecommuters are largely split as to whether time spent at home or at the office is more conducive to high-quality work.
- 37 percent of workers say they are more productive at the office
- 29 percent report they are more productive at home
- 34 percent say they are equally productive at home and the office.
What’s keeping workers distracted?
While most offices have their fair share of productivity roadblocks, home is hardly a disturbance-free zone. Telecommuters say the following are the biggest distractions:
- Household chores – 31 percent
- TV – 26 percent
- Pets – 23 percent
- Errands – 19 percent
- Internet – 18 percent
- Children – 15 percent
4 Tips for Managing Work-from-Home Employees
In July, I posted a recap from a particularly interesting SHRM session about managing remote workforces. Below are a few of the takeaways:
- Put Your Expectations in Writing. Create a physical document that outlines the expectations and responsibilities for everyone on the team. The physical reminder will keep people aware and accountable for their duties. Schedule a time to revisit this document every six months.
- Harness Technology. From project management software and CRM tools to micro-blogging sites (like Twitter and Yammer) and Wiki’s, there are so many resources today that enable remote teams to work together–it’s just a matter of picking what works best for your team.
- Set Goals and Track Performance. Make sure you clearly communicate deadlines and projects. Everyone should know who is responsible for completing which part of the project when in order to ensure everyone’s on same page. Consider having employees submit short, weekly reports to keep everyone in the know of the projects they’re working on.
- Build a Strong, Cohesive Team. Strive to build a sense of community by promoting teamwork and team building. It will make working remotely seem much less distant.
What do you think?
Do you struggle with managing employees who work from home? How do you keep them in check?
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