Most Employees Feel More Productive When Away from Office

April 4, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
Fifty-five percent of employees surveyed by Microsoft Canada said they are more productive when working away from the office. (

More than half of Canadians employed by companies with flexible work arrangements think they are more productive when working remotely, finds a new survey by Microsoft Canada.
But only a quarter of their bosses share the same view.

According to the survey, 55 percent of employees felt they are more productive when they are away from the office, citing as their reasons the need to finish work that couldn’t be finished at the office, having fewer distractions, being more productive than in the office, and having a better balance of work/home priorities.

“What we once considered the traditional office is changing,” James Nicholson, deployment specialist for Windows with Microsoft Canada, said in a statement.

“More and more customers, colleagues, and technology partners are finding themselves taking business calls from airport waiting lounges, reviewing work documents as they wait at the dentist office or sit on the train, or running important personal errands during their workday.”

While most bosses feel that their employees are more productive when in the office, close to half of bosses (42 percent) said they do support having the proper arrangements to enable their employees to work remotely.

“As workers juggle longer hours and aim to maintain a work-life balance, employers who can offer flexible workspaces to their employees are leading the pack in becoming employers of choice,” Mike Kennedy, VP at Aon Hewitt and National Lead, Health Strategies and Solutions, said in a statement.

Over 90 percent of bosses and employees agreed that it’s important to have the up-to-date technology to maintain the same capabilities when working remotely as when working in the office.

The survey also found that bosses are more likely than employees to conduct business in public places, the most frequent being while driving, on public transportation, and at bars or restaurants.

The majority of the bosses (62 percent) in fact indicated they themselves are more productive when working remotely.

But not all of them prefer that for their employees because of the inability to talk face-to-face, lack of focus, lack of accountability, and the belief that the employees do less work when they aren’t in the office.

The survey was conducted in February with 1,249 employees working full-time in offices with 10 or more employees that allow remote working arrangements.

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