Survey Uncovers Working Habits of NYC's Remo te Workers

2016 is bound to be one of the most productive years for your company, right? Employees have never had more flexible working arrangements—from freelance projects to remote full-time positions—to give employers the work they need, fast. The new world of work makes for more efficient companies, more diverse organizations, and a boost in productivity when managed correctly.

Starting in 2015, we’ve been using the Croissant mobile app to track some fascinating data around the working habits of freelancers, remote workers, and entrepreneurs in our partner coworking spaces around the city. From the number of hours worked to the most popular check-in times, we were able to take a snapshot of the working habits of remote New Yorkers in a new, ever-changing professional landscape.

To complement this data, we conducted a survey of remote workers in Croissant spaces that explored the different reasons why people would use a variety of environments to get work done instead of working from home. We got 1094 responses. Here’s what we found about the out-of-office worker:

Average Check-in Time

Not every employee is the same, and everyone has a specific time when they work best. We tracked over 1600 check-in times over 209 days of work, and what we found may surprise you.

  • Average check-in time to an NYC coworking space: 1:15pm. 
  • Over 70% of respondents admitted that after a certain point, working from home becomes unproductive

At first glance, it looks like workers simply want to sleep in and begin their work session in the early afternoon. However, our qualitative surveys found a different motivator. Workers prefer to start out at home, or in their favorite coffee shop, before moving to an office setting. One respondent said, “I like to make all my calls at home. It’s a secure place, so I schedule that usually in the mornings. For heads-down work, I’m more productive later in the day, and I can’t be at home for that.”

Most respondents don’t find home to be the best all-day workplace. A different surveyed worker said,  “At home, after awhile, I’m distracted by life. I do dishes. I procrastinate.” To remain productive and hardworking, remote workers need to eventually get out of the house, and coworking spaces give them the perfect escape in a professional environment.

Switching It Up

Our survey also explored why people are willing to pay for a multi-location coworking membership.

  • 23% responded that they would use a coworking membership for "switching up my work place occasionally." 
  • 15% said the membership was "an excuse to get out of the house." 
  • 14% said they were seeking "networking opportunities with like-minded people." 

“I’m a remote worker, as are the other 150 people at my company. I mostly work from home but now and then want a change of scenery,” a respondent said.

Number of Spaces Used

Finally, we looked at how often remote workers jones for a change of scene.

  • We found that most people like to have 2-3 places to get work done. 
  • About 15% of members visit more than one space a day.  

One of our members uses Croissant for her entire workforce because she feels it keeps them inspired.  “For me, different environments are inspiring,” said Laurie Davis, CEO of online dating experts eFlirt. “I get bored being in the same place every day. My whole team and I have accounts and we pick and choose what vibe we want each week.”

And she’s not alone. When asked about switching locations, the common responses were “wanting to find a coworking space with the right vibe and atmosphere” and “being around new and inspiring people.” Our respondents also said they felt more inspired, creative, and productive when having the ability to work in different environments.

Remote workers aren’t looking for isolation while working out of the office. They want to be around other people and have a change of scenery to get their creativity going. Who knows, maybe remote work is just what you need to engage and motivate your own employees. Think of some fun ways to shake up your office’s routine: an outdoor work-day fieldtrip, team outings or strategy meetings around the city, or allowing a few work hours at your employees’ favorite coffee shop. Variety just may be the key to unlocking your workforce’s potential.  

Does your company need help creating a work from home policy? Watch our webinar with Zoom and Owl Labs on how you can get the most from your remote workforce


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