A new study has found that remote working does have a direct link to increased productivity. In fact, work-from-home arrangements could boost productivity in the U.S. economy by 5% thanks to savings from commute times.
“Our data on employer plans and the relative productivity of WFH imply a 5% productivity boost in the post-pandemic economy due to re-optimized working arrangements,” the paper co-authored by Jose Maria Barrero of the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, Nicholas Bloom of Stanford University and Steven J. Davis of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and Hoover Institution. “Only one-fifth of this productivity gain will show up in conventional productivity measures, because they do not capture the time savings from less commuting.”
However, the adoption of remote working most definitely varies across industries. While Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon believes it is “an aberration,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is fully embracing that many staffers will continue to work remotely post-pandemic.
The study of over 30,000 U.S. workers revealed that 20% of workdays will be from home in the future, compared to just 5% from prior to the pandemic.
However, the research also found that remote working seems to mostly benefit high-income employees, which may highlight disparities between remote employees and workers in industries that require in-person attendance.