Large-Scale Experiment Shows Working From Home Improves Performance, Reduces Costs

While evidence shows that telecommuting can improve productivity and employee satisfaction, some businesses still have lingering concerns that remote workers will shirk their responsibilities given such flexibility and lack of supervision. One major Chinese company recently decided to find out for sure. In perhaps the largest-scale remote work study conducted to date, CTrip—China’s largest travel agency with a $5 billion valuation on NASDAQ and 13,000 employees—set out to investigate the benefits, drawbacks and feasibility of implementing a widespread work-from-home policy. The results, published by Stanford’s Economics Department and the Stanford Graduate School of Business, with cooperation from CTrip, were overwhelmingly positive. Read Full Article

Small Town Living, Big Town Talent

Tom Rupsis moved to a small town in Montana so his kids could be close to family. But the beautiful scenery and small-town charm did nothing to alleviate hiring challenges for his growing IT consulting business. He needed to fill several technical positions, but found most applicants minimally qualified for the job. His situation is not unique: While studies have shown that rural residents generally live happier and less stressful lives than their urban counterparts, they also have their challenges. One problem that significantly affects businesses in smaller communities is “brain drain”—the flight of technical talent from rural areas to urban centers. Read Full Article

Love the Way You Work, and Be a Parent Too

The decisions I made about my career and life were never easy, and choosing when to 'lean in' versus when to focus more on family was deeply personal. But I've also watched other women grapple with similar questions, and for those who chose to pursue a career in addition to raising a family, I've seen many navigate it brilliantly, while others struggled. What made the difference? Over the years, I've picked up some strategies, many from successful bosses and other working moms. Here are my favorites. Read Full Article

Digitization of the Supply Side of the Labor Market

We are witnessing an unprecedented, voluntary data collection and digitization of the supply side of the labor market. This “supply digitization” is going to be very impactful, because once the supply side of the labor market is digitized, platforms can begin making data-driven, highly contextualized recommendations to both sides of the market. In other words, the more detailed digital data these platforms have, the better they are able to recommend highly relevant jobs to job-seekers and equally relevant candidates to employers. But there still remains a lot of work to be done for this machine-learning research to reach its full economic and even humanitarian potential. Read Full Article