Time saved on commute is one of the arguments used in support of remote work—here’s how employees are using that extra time.
- On average, remote workers have around an extra 72 minutes in their day than those who still commute to work.
- With that extra time, around 40% is dedicated to completing additional work on a primary job or working a second job.
- Some employers are still concerned that remote work will lead to less worker productivity, but so far, workers are using that extra time to catch up on work projects that would otherwise fall behind.
- Around 34% of workers dedicate their extra time to leisure, including reading, watching TV, and exercising. Another 11% of workers use their gained time for caregiving.
Why it’s news
Several major employers have spoken out against remote work. During the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland, last week, JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon said that remote work just “doesn’t work” for certain industries.
Hedge fund firm Citadel recently reported a record-breaking profit for its clients during 2021. During an interview with Fortune, CEO Ken Griffin attributed the firm’s massive success, in part, to all of his employees working in the office full time.
Industry leaders have more commonly expressed displeasure with remote work as businesses announce more layoffs, and economic uncertainty makes workers more willing to return to the office for fear of losing their jobs.
In some instances, like with Twitter CEO Elon Musk, employees have been forced back to the office full-time as employers frequently believe that worker productivity is lower at home.
In December, a new study from University of Texas professor Andrew Brodsky tells a different story. Findings from Brodsky’s study show that workers are becoming more engaged and more productive with the freedom to work remotely. Other studies show that remote work may even prompt employees to work for longer periods of time due to lack of commute.
Backing up a bit
Managers’ worries that employees aren’t being productive have led to increased employee surveillance. However, this surveillance has led to new, somewhat deceptive practices from employees.
Some employers are taking advantage of technology to help keep a closer eye on their employees, but employees are using technology to fight back.
Workers who are worried about their online status showing they are away from their desks are using simple hacks like playing live-streamed videos in the background of their computers. Some workers use technology hacks or tools like mouse jigglers, others feign productivity by participating in unnecessary meetings or sending extra emails and messages.