In my prior post, Working Virtually, I referenced an article I recently wrote for Law Practice suggesting law firms consider facilitating lawyers working from home. A recent Wall Street Journal article, Its 10 A.M. – Do You know Where Your Workers Are? (1/12/04), has some interesting statistics about alternate working arrangements, including a 15% productivity gain.
The WSJ article reports that about 25% of the US work force works from home at least some of the time, while another quarter is mobile or works from customer locations. The move to at-home work is being driven by employers seeking to reduce costs and employees seeking more flexibility. The article goes on to report that at least some companies find at-home workers more productive: one study of 2000 workers at 15 companies found a 15% productivity boost from working at home. The gain is attributed to fewer distractions such as water cooler gatherings and unnecessary meetings.
These data support my contention that law firms should consider testing ways that lawyers could work away from expensive downtown offices, either in their home or at low over-head, suburban satellite offices. [Strategic Legal Technology]