The jury was out on the productivity effect of working from home. It has returned with a surprising verdict.
There has been much debate about working from home and whether or not it's a productivity boost or major productivity drain. Paranoid managers envision employees lying on their couches at home in Metallica concert T-shirts eating Doritos off their belly and watching Ellen.
But Stanford professor Nicholas Bloom has definitive data that paints a very different picture and indicates it's time once and for all to embrace and enable the benefits of working from home.
Bloom found a willing lab rat for a ground-breaking experiment in his graduate economics class at Stanford--James Liang, co-founder and CEO of Ctrip, China's largest travel agency, with 16,000 employees. The CEO was interested in giving employees the work-from-home option because office space in the company's Shanghai HQ is supremely expensive and because employees had to endure long commutes to work (not being able to afford city living). The result was horrendous attrition.
So Liang wanted to make the work-from-home move but needed proof it wouldn't tank productivity.