Eight-hour work shifts and 40-hour weeks are the industry standard today, but reports indicate otherwise. The Shift Work Practices 2014 report suggests that an average employee works an extra 5 hours every week, sometimes even more. A discrepancy that was once limited to the manufacturing sector has now found its way into the corporate world. According to the ILO, “Americans work 137 more hours per year than Japanese workers, 260 more hours per year than British workers, and 499 more hours per year than French workers.”
It might seem trivial, but the 8-hour workdays can be linked to our school days. Right from childhood, an 8-hour school day gets followed to mold us into the job market pattern and accustom us to work 8 set hours a day. The reason is simple, to get the most amount of productivity while keeping in sync with our body clock. This being said, working for extended periods without sufficient breaks can drastically reduce productivity and increase stress.
The statistics seem bleaker for employees in southeast Asia and eastern Asia, where an 8-hour workday remains elusive. For instance, the average working hours for Indian employees are the longest compared to their global peers. Business Standard in 2018 reported that employees in Indian cities worked for a grueling 53-54 hours a week. In the past decade, the IT sector has emerged as a regular defaulter of limited work hours. There have been cases where employees work over 10 hours a day, without overtime pay, forcibly spending 4-5 hours on daily commute via office cabs, and more.
So, is there a way we can normalize a 7-hour workday without compromising productivity or adding stress? The answer is a big YES, and it lies mainly in remote work. There is plenty of empirical data that working remotely, well, works. A Stanford study reaffirms this by finding that an at-home worker is less likely to quit and more productive than an employee that comes to the office. Furthermore, remote work is being quickly normalized by agile and technology-driven organizations of all sizes.
Remote work is driving the radical transformation of the workplace now more than ever. Will you transform alongside?
The benefits of remote work are many, but here are our two favorites.
Cuts on travel time
Commuter pain is widespread in almost all cities. A recent study conducted by OnePoll found that the daily average commute time for Americans is around 35 minutes- a number that adds up to around 152 hours in a year! The situation is even direr in developing countries where public transport systems are less-developed than their western counterparts. In India, narrow lanes and perilously congested roads can add more than two hours to an employee’s daily commute time. Research also shows that long commutes can lead to health issues like anxiety, higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and even severe depression.
Ditching the office commute can help boost mental and physical health. The extra time you save can allow you to focus on personal well-being like getting more sleep in the morning, getting a workout, spending more time with friends and family, or enjoying your favorite sitcom.
Improved productivity and performance
A 2019 annual survey by Flexijobs found that over 65% of working professionals think they would be more productive working remotely than in an office. Working from home typically leads to fewer interruptions, less office politics, and a quieter environment for focused work. Eliminate commuting from the equation, and you are more motivated, ultimately improving your productivity. This way, remote employees can significantly cut their actual work hours from 8 or 9 to 7.
When done correctly, remote work can bring the focus back on what really matters- performance. Unfortunately, employees in an office environment can fall prey to favoritism and bias due to false positives. While coming to work early and leaving late can “look” like more work, actual productivity might go unchecked.
This brings us to the million-dollar question, how do you calculate the productivity of your employees outside office limits? Here’s how!
RemoteDesk – Measures productivity in a remote workspace
RemoteDesk’s multi-layered time tracking feature utilizes AI and machine learning to detect and record instances of active and idle hours. It brings accountability within the organization as well as empowers workers to be more productive and responsible.
The software keeps a close eye on how many breaks a remote employee takes. It also monitors and records violations or suspicious activities like conversing with someone else in the room, spending hours on restricted websites, apps like social media, shopping sites, or OTT platforms. Therefore, RemoteDesk provides you daily and weekly reports of each employee to calculate their productivity and track performance.