IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cep/cepcnp/384.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Working or shirking?

Author

Listed:
  • Nicholas Bloom
  • James Liang
  • John Roberts
  • Zhichun Jenny Ying

Abstract

Over 10% of US employees now regularly work from home (WFH), but there is widespread skepticism over its impact highlighted by phrases like "shirking from home". We report the results of a WFH experiment at Ctrip, a 13,000 employee NASDAQ listed Chinese multinational. Call center employees who volunteered to WFH were randomly assigned to work from home or in the office for 9 months. Work from home led to a 13% performance increase, of which about 9.5% is from working more minutes per shift (fewer breaks and sick-days) and 3.5% from more calls per minute (attributed to a quieter working environment). Home workers also reported improved work satisfaction and their job attrition rate fell by 50%. After the experiment, the firm rolled the program out to all employees, letting them choose home or office working. Interestingly, only half of the volunteer group decided to work at home, with the other half changing their minds in favor of office working. After employees were allowed to choose where to work, the performance impact of WFH more than doubled, highlighting the benefits of choice alongside modern management practices like home working.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicholas Bloom & James Liang & John Roberts & Zhichun Jenny Ying, 2012. "Working or shirking?," CentrePiece - The Magazine for Economic Performance 384, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepcnp:384
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/cp384.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    Keywords

    working from home; organization; productivity; field experiment; and China;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cep:cepcnp:384. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/centrepiece/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.