article » Here's Why You Should Work at Home — for 90 Days

Here's Why You Should Work at Home — for 90 Days

July 16, 2013
1 min read

Paging Marissa Mayer: working from home seems to make employees way more loyal to their company. But the more months they stay at home, the less productive they are.

That's according to fresh data from Evolv, a workforce analytics startup with an impressive roster of Fortune 100 clients. Exclusively for Mashable, Evolv gathered and compared statistics on 21,000 hourly employees over 180 days; both at-home and in-office workers.

Employees who are allowed to work from home are significantly more likely to stick around. Their median retention rate is 28% higher. Check out this chart, where "survival" is the likelihood that these hourly employees are still working for you:

Hourly workers may not be entirely representative of the problem Marissa Mayer had with Yahoo's remote staffers. However, they do comprise 60% of the U.S. workforce.

When it comes to how productive they are at measurable tasks, such as completing customer service calls, work-from-homers slightly edge out their office-based brethren — but only at first.

Both groups have a steep learning curve. After about 90 days at the company, however, the office workers become faster than the work-at-homers. Those remote employees hit a plateau at day 120 — and after 150 days of logging in from their house, they actually start to get slower again.

Check out this chart, where "handle time" is Evolv's measure of how fast set tasks are completed:

So what should employers do? If you were building a company from scratch, according to this data, it would be best to keep your hourly workers at home for their first three months on the job. You'll gain their loyalty, and a slight edge in productivity.

But after 90 days, you'll want to start bringing them into the office. "People who work from home appear to get complacent at some point," says Dr. Micheal Housman, managing director of analytics at Evolv.

“Data settles the debate on working from home," adds Max Simkoff, CEO of San Francisco-based Evolv. "Employees who work at home stay longer on the job, but they are overall less productive than their in-the-office peers."

Where do you stand in the great where-to-work debate? Let us know in the comments.

For the full-length version of the article, please click here.