Those who work from home are more productive than people who work in an office, according to a new two-year study.

The ground-breaking experiment, conducted by Stanford University professor Nicholas Bloom, showed an astounding productivity boost among the telecommuters and a decrease in attrition, according to Thrive Global.

To conduct the study, Bloom enlisted the help of former Stanford student James Liang, who is now the co-founder and CEO of Ctrip, China's largest travel agency, with 16,000 employees.

Liang was interested in giving employees the work-from-home option because office space in the company's Shanghai headquarters was expensive, not to mention staff had to endure long commutes just to get to work.


The test involved 500 employees who were divided into two groups; a control group (those who continued working at HQ) and the volunteer work-from-home group.

After two years, the study showed that the telecommuters worked a true full shift (or more) compared with those in the control group, some of whom would be late to the office or leave early multiple times a week.

The telecommuters also found it less distracting and easier to concentrate at home.

Additionally, the study found that those working from home saw a 50 per cent decrease in attrition. It was found that the group took shorter breaks, had fewer sick days and took less time off.

As a bonus, they were also helping reduce carbon emissions by not travelling to work and back home again five times a week.

The study also proved a success for the company, who saved almost US$2000 ($2905) per employee on rent by reducing the amount of office space at HQ.

Distraction in the workplace is common, especially in large open plan offices, with noise and constant person-to-person interaction at the heart of the problem.

Futurologist Dr Nicole Millard told the Daily Mail that open plan office workers are distracted every three minutes.


"The trouble with open plan offices is they are a one-size-fits-all model which actually fits nobody," Millard said.

"We're interrupted every three minutes. It takes us between eight and 20 minutes to get back into that thought process."

And according to scientists, open plan offices also make workers more miserable. A study, which was carried out by researchers from the CTF, Service Research Centre at Karlstad University in Sweden, found that staff who work in an open environment are distracted, irritated and find it difficult to have a good conversation with colleagues.

Dr Tobias Otterbring, lead author of the study, said: "The results show a negative relationship between the number of co-workers sharing an office and employees' job satisfaction."