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Freakonomics Radio

Can working from home increase productivity?

Marketplace Contributor Aug 22, 2012
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Freakonomics Radio’s Stephen Dubner discusses the hidden side — a.k.a. benefits — of working home. He explains that a recent experiment by a Chinese company called Ctrip shows that people working from home are more productive and are at less risk for health problems. The company conducted the experiment to save money on rising real estate rent in Shanghai, recruiting 500 employees and asking half of them to work from home, while the other half reported to the office.
 
The study’s results revealed that people who worked from home were 13 percent more productive than people working in an office. The study also showed that people working from home were more efficient. Stanford economist Nick Bloom, who conducted the experiment with Ctrip, says there may be a reasons for this.

“In the office it’s very noisy, you can hear the guy next to you on the phone or the person across the desk crying because their boyfriend just split up with them. It’s very distracting,” said Bloom.

Other studies show that commuting into the office is bad for you as well. A study from the Washington University shows that people who commute long distances have higher blood pressure than people who have short commutes.

Is that enough incentive for you to ditch the office?

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