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Telecommuters Happier with Jobs Than Office-Bound

New research suggests employees who telecommute the majority of the work week are more satisfied with their jobs compared to those working mostly in the office.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) investigators believe working remotely alleviates more stress than it creates.

The study, conducted by Kathryn Fonner and Michael Roloff, compared the advantages and disadvantages of each work arrangement.

A paper outlining the results appears in the November issue of the Journal of Applied Communication Research.

The main benefit reported by participants who telework at least three days a week is the decreased work-life conflict that a flexible work arrangement allows.

Alienation from workplace communication, often cited as the biggest disadvantage of telework, was reported as minimal by the study’s participants.

Teleworkers reported exchanging information with others less frequently than office-based employees, but both groups reported similar timely access to important work-related information.

Results of the study pointed to multiple reasons why telework is linked to high job satisfaction, namely that employees working remotely are, on average, shielded from much of the distracting and stressful aspects of the workplace such as office politics, interruptions, constant meetings and information overload, said Fonner.

“Our findings emphasize the advantages of restricted face-to-face interaction, and also highlight the need for organizations to identify and address the problematic and unsatisfying issues inherent in collocated work environments,” said Fonner.

“With lower stress and fewer distractions, employees can prevent work from seeping into their personal lives.”

In addition to implementing telework arrangements for employees, organizations may consider several other strategies to boost job satisfaction for both office-based and distance workers, she adds, including:

  • Limiting the number of meetings and mass emails;
  • Streamlining office communication by creating a repository of information that can be accessed at any time;
  • Designating certain times when, and spaces where, office-based employees can work uninterrupted;
  • Creating a supportive climate where employees can register concerns without fear of retaliation;
  • Encouraging employees to disconnect from workplace communication when they are finished for the day.

Source: University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

Telecommuters Happier with Jobs Than Office-Bound

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Telecommuters Happier with Jobs Than Office-Bound. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 20, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2010/11/16/telecommuters-happier-with-jobs-than-office-bound/20950.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.