A recent study found that telecommuters' overall job satisfaction was higher than that of their office-bound peers and were more productive and less stressed than those working a 9-to-5 outside of the home.
"Results reveal that high-intensity telecommuters are more satisfied than office-based employees and achieve significant benefits from their work arrangement, with work-life conflict most influential toward job satisfaction," the study, "Why Teleworkers Are More Satisfied with Their Jobs Than Office-Based Workers," summarized.
The study out of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Northwestern University wanted to look at how interaction and connection with coworkers contributed to job satisfaction. Despite missing out on the water-cooler chit-chat or group coffee breaks, telecommuters thrived.
"This study proves that personal interaction, rather than being beneficial, can actually create a sense of overload on workers and reduce their performance," it concluded.
While interpersonal relationships may be important, so is a distraction-free environment.
"Telecommuters had fewer interruptions from coworkers, didn't have to worry about office politics as much and weren't forced to sit through long, drawn-out meetings, so the telecommuters were able to really focus on work," FYI Living reports.
Telecommuters make up 2 per cent of the workforce, with a significantly greater percentage of employees working from home at least one day a week. A recent survey found that only 21 per cent of those asked had no interest in working from home.
A different study, one out of Brigham Young University, found that telecommuters had a better work/life balance while managing longer workweeks than their at-the-office peers.
BYU's research team analyzed data from 24,436 IBM employees in 75 countries, trying to determine when employees felt that work starting interfering with their personal lives.
"For office workers on a regular schedule, the breaking point was 38 hours per week. Given a flexible schedule and the option to telecommute, employees were able to clock 57 hours per week before experiencing such conflict," a press release stated.
For those wired to work at home — disciplined and self-motivated, not prone to procrastination — the flexible work environment encourages productivity and balance.
Would you work from home if you had the opportunity to do so?