A New Study Reveals Why Working From Home Makes Employees More Productive
How do virtual and in-office workers differ? It might surprise you.
Working from the comfort of your own home seems like a dream come true, but something that was once a benefit has now become an expectation. Simply put, it’s the new normal.
People no longer want to deal with the frustrations of driving to and from work: In fact, new research shows that one in four employees has quit a job because of a long commute. Many job seekers now rely on the flexibility of remote work to avoid these inconveniences. The real question: How do virtual and in-office workspaces differ?
Remote employees are more productive than office employees
Airtasker, a gig economy platform, sought out the answers and surveyed 1,004 full-time employees about their daily tasks and efficiency. Just over half of respondents said they work from home a majority of the week:
Remote workers take 22 minutes a day for breaks, compared to 18 minutes for in-office workers
They also worked an average of 1.4 more days every month, or 16.8 more days every year
Office workers reported being idle for about 37 minutes a day, excluding lunch and standard breaks, while remote workers proved to be more productive, only citing 27 minutes of unproductive time.
When it came to remaining focused, though, the differences were minimal: Only 8 percent of remote workers and 6 percent of in-office employees found it difficult to stay on track of their daily tasks. However, in-office workers were 17 percentage points more likely than remote employees to avoid working when their screen time or mouse movements were being tracked.
The best ways to stay productive while working from home
Remote workers have proved to be more productive, but what’s their secret? Research shows that it’s no mystery at all — remote employees enforce some of the same disciplines as in-office employees:
Taking breaks is the No.1 most effective way to stay productive (37 percent)
Nearly one-third say that having set office hours helps them stay focused
30 percent also stay productive by keeping to-do lists
On an interesting note, 50 percent of remote employees, however productive, still wanted to be their own boss as opposed to climbing the corporate ladder, while another 21 percent already worked for themselves.
Benefits of working from home
We do what we have to do to succeed at work, but how many people know how much they spend commuting to and from their job every day? When compared with office employees, remote workers saved $4,523.04 on fuel each year. They were also able to maintain healthier lifestyles, as they clocked an extra 25 minutes of physical activity each week.
But, like anything else in life, there are drawbacks: 29 percent of remote workers struggled with work-life balance.
Working remotely has its perks: fewer distractions, no more commutes, and you can save money and time. However, it doesn’t mean you should pack up and quit your office job in search of a remote position. When choosing your career path, it’s important to choose the lifestyle that best suits you — and that may include sitting in an office cubicle.
Business Development is NOT sales. Sales is closing deals and should be 100% about closing deals. A great business development department most often will ask in an interview what the difference is between sales and business development. If the interviewee likens the position to sales, its usually a bad sign for the interview.
Biz Dev is a strategic look at a business with the primary question being “What will create greater value?” and sometimes, “What is the future?” While the President of a firm is looking inward asking that question. Biz Dev is looking outward into the sea of the unknown. For some this is M&A work, looking for new opportunities to buy growth. For others it is looking for synergistic partnerships where common customers are shared, looking for new opportunities to build growth. And for others it is looking at your short comings as a company (short comings you may choose for strategic reasons) and find those who do what you cannot, looking for true partnership and symbiosis. A great Biz Dev team does all three.
The joy and terror of Business Development is that you don’t have a page of music to read from the way you might in other departments — you are more or less playing jazz, where you know more or less the theme but how you navigate is unclear.
As an example:
Personally I work with sales every day: funneling leads to them through the contacts and relationship I gain in my time, teaching them about ways our partnerships can fill in gaps when a lead needs us and something we cannot provide, helping them sell white label solutions with firms that want more than simple partnership provides, and even forging relationships between our sales team and that of others because often a combined offering and pitch is more elegant than ones done alone.
I work with marketing every day: finding ways to promote our partners and ways they can promote us, pondering new products we might share, offering education to our staff and our clients above and beyond our small slice of the pie, and of course evangelizing the wonder and greatness that is my own firm.
I work with tech every day: Helping choose which integrations make the most sense (leads gen wise, GMV wise, and Dev time wise), opening doors so that our Dev team can speak to another firm’s Dev team, helping elevate issues that happen when firms work together by eliminating the passing of the buck, and generally being the warm face of our company when introverts come together.
I work with our CEO every day: Funneling strategic and market knowledge long before it is well known, making introductions to other CEOs that resonate with our business philosophy, offering options that would not otherwise be possible if we hid in a cave, and helping court long term relationships that may at some point end in an M&A opportunity.
And all day I speak with partners, potential partners, people who seem interesting in our space but that I cannot categorize, and yes, even competitors (some of which share leads and integrations). I create relationships. When someone tries to tell me or my team how they are going to give us $X per lead (while calling it “business development”) I start planning my exit from the conversation. Our business is our business, not promoting someone else’s business. Some of our best lead generation partners make $0 from us and some of our most loved relationships get buckets of leads from us and not a single $ exchanges hands.
Business Development is entirely outward facing strategy.
Shawna Denise Snukst, 20 years of start-up Biz Dev experience
Imagine that you’ve recently taken on a new project, and your people are struggling to keep up with the increased workload. You are therefore considering whether to hire a new team member. Clearly, the benefits of hiring a new person need to significantly outweigh the associated costs. This is where Cost-Benefit Analysis is useful.
Note: CBA is a quick and simple technique that you can use for non-critical financial decisions. Where decisions are mission-critical, or large sums of money are involved, other approaches – such as use of Net Present Values and Internal Rates of Return – are often more appropriate.
About the Tool
Jules Dupuit, a French engineer and economist, introduced the concepts behind CBA in the 1840s. It became popular in the 1950s as a simple way of weighing up project costs and benefits, to determine whether to go ahead with a project.
As its name suggests, Cost-Benefit Analysis involves adding up the benefits of a course of action, and then comparing these with the costs associated with it.
The results of the analysis are often expressed as a payback period – this is the time it takes for benefits to repay costs. Many people who use it look for payback in less than a specific period – for example, three years.
You can use the technique in a wide variety of situations. For example, when you are:
Deciding whether to hire new team members.
Evaluating a new project or change initiative.
Determining the feasibility of a capital purchase.
However, bear in mind that it is best for making quick and simple financial decisions. More robust approaches are commonly used for more complex, business-critical or high cost decisions.
How to Use the Tool
Follow these steps to do a Cost-Benefit Analysis.
Step One: Brainstorm Costs and Benefits
First, take time to brainstorm all of the costs associated with the project, and make a list of these. Then, do the same for all of the benefits of the project. Can you think of any unexpected costs? And are there benefits that you may not initially have anticipated?
When you come up with the costs and benefits, think about the lifetime of the project. What are the costs and benefits likely to be over time?
Step Two: Assign a Monetary Value to the Costs
Costs include the costs of physical resources needed, as well as the cost of the human effort involved in all phases of a project. Costs are often relatively easy to estimate (compared with revenues).
It’s important that you think about as many related costs as you can. For example, what will any training cost? Will there be a decrease in productivity while people are learning a new system or technology, and how much will this cost?
Remember to think about costs that will continue to be incurred once the project is finished. For example, consider whether you will need additional staff, if your team will need ongoing training, or if you’ll have increased overheads.
Step Three: Assign a Monetary Value to the Benefits
This step is less straightforward than step two! Firstly, it’s often very difficult to predict revenues accurately, especially for new products. Secondly, along with the financial benefits that you anticipate, there are often intangible, or soft, benefits that are important outcomes of the project.
For instance, what is the impact on the environment, employee satisfaction, or health and safety? What is the monetary value of that impact?
As an example, is preserving an ancient monument worth $500,000, or is it worth $5,000,000 because of its historical importance? Or, what is the value of stress-free travel to work in the morning? Here, it’s important to consult with other stakeholders and decide how you’ll value these intangible items.
Step Four: Compare Costs and Benefits
Finally, compare the value of your costs to the value of your benefits, and use this analysis to decide your course of action.
To do this, calculate your total costs and your total benefits, and compare the two values to determine whether your benefits outweigh your costs. At this stage it’s important to consider the payback time, to find out how long it will take for you to reach the break even point – the point in time at which the benefits have just repaid the costs.
For simple examples, where the same benefits are received each period, you can calculate the payback period by dividing the projected total cost of the project by the projected total revenues:
Total cost / total revenue (or benefits) = length of time (payback period).
Custom Graphic Works has been operating for just over a year, and sales are exceeding targets. Currently, two designers are working full-time, and the owner is considering increasing capacity to meet demand. (This would involve leasing more space and hiring two new designers.)
He decides to complete a Cost-Benefit Analysis to explore his choices.
Currently, the owner of the company has more work than he can cope with, and he is outsourcing to other design firms at a cost of $50 an hour. The company outsources an average of 100 hours of work each month.
He estimates that revenue will increase by 50 percent with increased capacity.
Per-person production will increase by 10 percent with more working space.
The analysis horizon is one year: that is, he expects benefits to accrue within the year.
Cost in First Year
750 square feet available next door at $18 per square foot
Knock out walls and reconfigure office space
Hire two more designers.
Salary, including benefits Recruitment costs Orientation and training
$75,000 $11,250 $3,000
Two additional workstations.
Furniture and hardware Software licenses
Two weeks at approximately $7,500 revenue per week
Benefit Within 12 Months
50 percent revenue increase.
Paying in-house designers $15 an hour, versus $50 an hour outsourcing (100 hours per month, on average: savings equals $3,500 a month.)
10 percent improved productivity per designer ($7,500 + $3,750 = $11,250 revenue per week with a 10 percent increase = $1,125/week.)
Improved customer service and retention as a result of 100 percent in-house design.
He calculates the payback time as shown below:
$139,750 / $305,500 = 0.46 of a year, or approximately 5.5 months.
Inevitably, the estimates of the benefit are subjective, and there is a degree of uncertainty associated with the anticipated revenue increase. Despite this, the owner of Custom Graphic Works decides to go ahead with the expansion and hiring, given the extent to which the benefits outweigh the costs within the first year.
Flaws of Cost-Benefit Analysis
Cost-Benefit Analysis struggles as an approach where a project has cash flows that come in over a number of periods of time, particularly where returns vary from period to period. In these cases, use Net Present Value (NPV) and Internal Rate of Return (IRR) calculations together to evaluate the project, rather than using Cost-Benefit Analysis. (These also have the advantage of bringing “time value of money” into the calculation.)
Also, the revenue that will be generated by a project can be very hard to predict, and the value that people place on intangible benefits can be very subjective. This can often make the assessment of possible revenues unreliable (this is a flaw in many approaches to financial evaluation). So, how realistic and objective are the benefit values used?
Cost-benefit analysis is a relatively straightforward tool for deciding whether to pursue a project.
To use the tool, first list all the anticipated costs associated with the project, and then estimate the benefits that you’ll receive from it.
Where benefits are received over time, work out the time it will take for the benefits to repay the costs.
You can carry out an analysis using only financial costs and benefits. However, you may decide to include intangible items within the analysis. As you must estimate a value for these items, this inevitably brings more subjectivity into the process.
This site teaches you the skills you need for a happy and successful career; and this is just one of many tools and resources that you’ll find here.
Last year, how to distinguish between wet and dry garbage became a hot topic in Shanghai and even the whole country. Pioneering educational institutions try to let children explore energy-saving and emission reduction solutions through project-based learning.
Toasting marshmallows with the sun is indeed an interesting experiment. But does the project inspire students to continue thinking about energy use? Or is it just a fun, hands-on production? With this question, the author interviewed campers randomly: “After completing this project, what connection do you think solar energy has with our actual life?” A 11-year-old girl answered: “I thought solar energy was a water heater before .Now I will think that neither wind energy nor solar energy need extra combustion energy and do not pollute the environment. We can use the energy it produces to do a lot of things. “A little older partner beside her added:” The design of solar roasted cotton candy Extending to life, reminds me of the negative teaching materials that do not use solar energy well. The glass walls in cities reflect sunlight and increase the temperature. Especially in summer, we feel uncomfortable, like roasted marshmallow … With that said, we smiled, and the author’s question was answered.
The purpose of the project is to design and build the lowest cost and most energy efficient windmill. Each team first did research online, collected data on different types of windmills, made a preliminary understanding of the subject, and then explored how to design windmills that are both energy-saving and cost-saving. The 14-year-old mentor assistant Kerry applied the newly learned physics knowledge to answer: “On the one hand, it is necessary to use light materials to reduce the resistance of the wind to push the blade; on the other hand, the shape of the blade is designed to adjust the wind distance to make the wind energy that drives it rotate The biggest. “This allows us to see the complementarity of the two types of education-children need knowledge learned in school as the basis of analytical reasoning, and textbook knowledge requires the application of real scenes and active thinking to” live “. Make students have an ownership of knowledge.
“What is the purpose of building a sustainable house?” At the lunch table, the children rushed to answer: “The core of an energy-efficient house is heat insulation. The design and materials of the house need to minimize the impact of outside temperature on the interior. In the morning, less air conditioning in summer and less heating in winter will reduce the energy consumption of the house. “In the morning, the children devoted themselves to searching, researching, and designing, trying to find the best solution within their abilities. In the afternoon, after a preliminary design draft, they used hot glue guns to make a model of the environmentally friendly house. The children were so devoted that they turned the design drawings into models so that they would not leave after dinner time. The camp leader was afraid they would be hungry and had to catch them one by one.
The Peak project continues the PBL methods and steps, and applies the knowledge, skills, and project methods learned: First, children need to use the relevant energy knowledge harvested in the PBL, such as where solar energy comes from, and how to build sustainable development Houses, etc .; skills that have been previously learned by “scaffold”-cost modeling, energy consumption excel analysis, etc. will also be used. In terms of working methods, children will also use the project process in PBL: search information, data analysis, cost analysis, proposal, speech presentation. We will see later in the final project, the children learn and apply, apply these knowledge, skills, steps, check the data of previous years, interview with the staff, make bold assumptions, build models, and draw renderings.
Unlike PBL, the peak project theme is selected by the group members based on their interests. The final project especially emphasizes creativity and interest-driven. It requires the team members to have a full sense of ownership. In the face of the first contact questions and unknown answers, the children are encouraged to try: “You may not know, but you must not try . (It’s okay to not know. But it’s not okay to not try). ” It turns out that searching for the answer to a question of their own choosing has inspired children’s interest. The camp chief said that what he had to do was not to urge the children to complete the project, but to ensure that they did not overwork. Some children continue to make projects even for meals and free time, because they are completely head in and are led by interest, wanting to make their projects to the highest quality.
Each group of projects has a motivating question. The purpose of the project, research, etc. are all around it; it is the driving force that drives the project forward. Course designer John places particular emphasis on the quality of the problem, emphasizing that it needs to be an authentic question, not a fiction, to ensure that children are providing solutions to real problems. The problem also needs to be clear who is the client of the project, in order to specify the problem to be solved. For example, if the driving question is “How to reduce the cost of waste sorting?” Then it needs to be clear whether the service target is Shanghai office workers, Japanese restaurants, or German schools? The social role and environment of different objects will affect the solution and even produce completely different designs.
The final project is like providing solutions and designing products for customers. The five-person team has a clear division of labor, including discussion organizers, interviewers, data analysts, PPT designers, and progress promoters. Sometimes one person can have multiple roles. The group cooperation mode is also like in the work scene, with schedules, meetings, inspections, and independent assignments … This group of children who are still junior high school students are like working teenagers. The project content is also varied: let the sports field automatically generate electricity, plan new energy for Chengdu, use Roblox game design to simulate fish and vegetable symbiosis, provide ideas for the Sudan ’s Belt and Road project, and provide solutions to China ’s desertification …
In this article, we learned that “International Youth Environmental Action” introduced children into the world of environmental protection through project-based learning such as solar panels, windmills, and sustainable housing. After initial building skills, children select topics of interest in the Peak project to provide environmentally-friendly solutions for real-life scenarios. In the next part, we will introduce the specific case of the Peak project, and share the multi-perspective perspectives of parents, children, mentors and other project participants in evaluating the International Youth Action Environmental Protection Project. We will see the hope and problems faced by the landing of this pioneering form of education in China.
Data show that compared with the 2017-18 school year, the number of international students paying full tuition in the 2018-19 school year increased by 10% to 343,000, of which Chinese students increased by 13% to more than 120,000.
With the sharp increase in the number of Chinese students, the number of non-European foreign students studying at British universities last year soared by 10%, boosting the income of relevant universities. Educational institutions in the UK are seeking to ease growing financial pressure.
Data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency, a government agency, shows that compared to the 2017-18 school year, the number of students receiving higher education in the 2018-19 school year increased by 2% to 2.4 million. Among them, the number of “international” students paying full tuition increased by 10% to 343,000; the number of non-British European students increased by 2%, and these students were calculated separately because they paid the same tuition as British students.
The number of international students, including Chinese students, increased by 13% to more than 120,000-accounting for more than one third of all non-EU students, and the increase in the past 5 years has reached 35%. The number of Indian students has increased to nearly 27,000.
British University Affairs Minister Chris Skidmore underscored the government’s commitment to increase the number of foreign students to 600,000 by 2030 and said: “Data shows that our world-class universities continue to attract the most Smart, best student. “
Despite concerns about the future status of Brexit and EU students studying abroad, the number of students from non-UK European countries last year increased from 139,000 in the previous year to 143,000, but they still accounted for 6% of the total number of students . Last year’s batch may be the second-to-last batch of non-UK European students eligible for British citizenship tuition fees and government-backed loans.
Among the full-time undergraduates who live in the UK, the proportion of white students has remained basically unchanged since the 2014-15 school year, and remains at 75%, while the proportion of black students rose slightly from 6% to 7%. The number of students from private schools increased from 105,000 to 113,000, and the number of students from public schools increased from 984,000 to 1.1 million.
During this period, the number of students from low-participation-based tertiary education areas increased from 123,000 to 140,000, and the number of students from the poorest households increased from 163,000 to 196,000.
However, critics believe that the data show that the UK has not made sufficient progress in promoting social mobility. “These terrible statistics should cause serious government concern, as the government has made it clear that it will improve its quality nationwide,” said Imogen Farhan, a researcher at Reform, a British think tank. There is an urgent need for reforms that require universities to announce how they are spending their budgets to increase participation and their commitment to consider student background in the admissions process. “
The data also shows that compared with 2018, the proportion of first-degree degrees awarded in 2019 remains at 28%. The “fractional inflation” of previous years has raised concerns about the quality of scoring and the risk of a decline in the value of a college degree.
Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of the UK’s university regulator, Office for Students, said she would analyse the data before a report is released in the spring. “Score inflation may weaken public confidence in higher education, both for college students, graduate students and employers. We will continue to seek appropriate action to address these issues.”
Since the 2016-17 school year, among all students who have obtained all degrees, the proportion of women in college students has remained at 57%.