After one month spent working remotely, employees at the internal communications consulting agency Carpool reported increased communication and accessibility, higher job satisfaction, less email, and increased productivity, among other positive effects of the Office Anywhere.
During the month of July, Carpool encouraged employees to work from home, cafes, the downtown Bellevue headquarters, or anywhere else that helped them be more productive. Although the experiment was not specifically intended to force employees to work from home, many chose to work remotely for the majority of the month. Despite the largely remote workforce, employees reported increased job satisfaction and, due to tools like Facebook at Work, Carpool found that overall task productivity and the use of social collaboration tools increased, while email usage actually dropped.
Some of the highlights from Office Anywhere included:
- 16% decrease in overall email activity
- 22% increase in tasks completed per person.
- Mobile chat use increased from 60% to 85%
- 92% of employees want to continue Office Anywhere
With the reduction in email usage alone, the average worker could save more than 100 hours per year that are ordinarily reserved for managing inboxes and place that energy to more productive tasks for the company.
“We started the Office Anywhere experiment because we noticed that Carpool employees often suggested they were more productive outside the office,” said Carpool Cofounder Jarom Reid. “This experiment started with the hypothesis to test whether we could improve overall productivity, but it was fascinating to see that not only did our employees prefer the flexibility of a remote work environment, but they were able to get more work done and do it more quickly.”
Although many aspects of Office Anywhere were positive, Carpool also gathered a plethora of additional data that will be used to help improve remote work environments for others and provide valuable insights for clients. Some of the challenges encountered included:
- Technical challenges and hiccups with video conferencing
- A disparity in some individuals’ abilities to set up a home work space
- Less opportunities for social interactions with colleagues
- Less banter on Carpool’s internal social networks, such as Facebook at Work and Yammer
However, those challenges were generally outweighed by positives, such as:
- Employees felt more energized
- They enjoyed the flexibility
- They found it easier to complete tasks more quickly
- Fewer distractions
- It made employees examine tools and communication strategies more than ever
- Time saved from commuting
- Ability to be there more for family
Carpool was founded in 2010 and has evolved into a consulting firm that specializes in internal communications. Our history, expertise, and the talent of our people give us the experience to navigate and understand personalities, technical environments, and content channels. We expertly discover insights, craft strategies, and implement a vision developed hand-in-hand with our clients.
Follow our progress with #OfficeAnywhere