1. Leaving the office increases productivity
Tim Harford, an economist and Financial Times columnist, recently discussed a study that investigated which workspaces made people more productive.
Traditional workspaces, which are more regimented and fixed, have been found to disempower participants and make them less productive. Forward-thinking, flexi-spaces, however, create an environment where participants are able to produce more work.
The study concluded that when people were given choice over the set-up of their workspace, their output increased.
The findings of Robert Sommer, a psychologist at the University of California, reaffirm the study’s results. He highlights that, in a workspace, seemingly trivial freedoms made people more productive.
It’s clear that a little autonomy within an office can lead to enhanced productivity.
But what about outside an office?
When people are given complete and total autonomy and flexibility over where they work, even away from the office entirely, their productivity increases.
The hypothesis that flexible working increases productivity has been proven in a two-year study by Stanford University Professor of Economics, Nicholas Bloom. In the study, half of a company team worked from home (or anywhere they wanted to) 4 days a week. The other half went into the office 5 days a week.
The study revealed that those “who worked from home had,” in Bloom’s words, “a “massive, massive” increase in productivity–almost equivalent to an additional workday.”
Therefore, if a company aspires to be more productive, it needs to ditch the office and consider flexible working practices. The more flexible a company becomes, the more productive it’s likely to be.