We Already Know Working From Home Rules, and This Study Backs That Up

Man using laptop on sofa
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We know a lot of our readers want, need or just prefer to work from home.

Penny Hoarder staffers are no different. In fact, I’m writing this from my home office right now.

We’re super fortunate that work-from-home days are part of our benefits package (thanks, Kyle!), but some bosses still need convincing.

If yours is one of them, maybe this news will help sway them.

The Considerable Benefits of Working From Home

Stanford Business Senior Editor Shana Lynch recently wrote about the results of a study conducted by Stanford business professor Nicholas Bloom, who tracked employees at Chinese travel agency Ctrip to help the company understand the impact of workplace flexibility.

“[Ctrip] solicited worker volunteers for a study in which half worked from home for nine months, coming into the office one day a week, and half worked only from the office,” explains Lynch.

The performance of employees who worked from home shot up by 13 percent.

Bloom attributes the increase to two things. He says workers concentrate better when they work from home and are more likely to work a full shift when they aren’t dealing with commutes, long lunches and other distractions.

The study also discovered the rate of resignations at Ctrip “dropped by 50% when employees were allowed to work from home.” The company also reported it made about $2,000 more profit per work-from-home employee.

So, let’s recap.

Employees who work from home perform better, are more focused, less distracted, quit less often and increase a company’s financial profit.

On a larger scale, work-from-home options help  conserve oil, lower greenhouse gas emissions and save companies buckets of money.

(Apparently, anything is possible when employees are allowed to work from home. It probably also relieves dry skin, promotes hair growth and cures bad breath. Those things just haven’t been studied yet.)

Anyway, if the results of Bloom’s study aren’t enough to convince your boss that employees should be able to work from home, lay these additional benefits on them. You can also arm yourself with proof that working from home increases productivity.

If your boss won’t go for remote working at all, try negotiating for a shorter work day.

Still no luck? Don’t let it get you down. In reality, only about 7% of U.S. workplaces offer telecommuting benefits.

And to be perfectly honest, working from home isn’t always as awesome as it sounds.

Except when it is.

Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She loves working from home but also thinks it really sucks to miss the days when people bring in cupcakes, pizza or their dog.