Pandemic restrictions enabled remote work on a massive scale. Nicholas Bloom began studying the phenomenon over a decade prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and found that it has many positive aspects. Now, as Aki Ito reports for Business Insider UK, Bloom has updated and broadened his research and has begun to caution employers to slow down this innovation. All workers and managers will want to acquaint themselves with the pluses and minuses of remote work provided by this thoughtful analysis.
A dramatic increase in remote work sparked new interest in Nicholas Bloom’s research.
In a 2017 TEDx speech, management expert Nicholas Bloom predicted that working from home would become a global paradigm shift. He based his prediction on years of academic work preceded by a stint as a McKinsey consultant.
Lecturing at Stanford in 2010, Bloom first undertook research on the effects of hybrid work arrangements for Ctrip, an online, Shanghai-based travel agency. Results from the study surprised Bloom and his client. They indicated that workers in flexible locations achieved 10% higher productivity than their in-office colleagues. In addition to productivity gains, Ctrip realized lowered costs related to renting and maintaining work space.
Bloom’s research and his TEDx talk garnered little interest until the COVID-19 quarantine, when large organizations such as Microsoft and Stanford told their employees to work from home. Major companies now seek Bloom...