Studies have shown that people who work from home, also known as telecommuters, are more satisfied with their jobs than those who go to work in offices. In a recent study, researchers in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, wanted to examine the extent of job satisfaction in telecommuters and the main factors that influenced it. “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.”
One of the most important factors that affects satisfaction at work is the feeling of connection with co-workers at the actual workplace. Better relationships prove to be very beneficial and add to the satisfaction of the worker. Those who work from home do not have such communication with co-workers and their superiors; hence it was thought that they would be less satisfied than those who work at offices. But the present study proves that there are many disadvantages associated with face-to-face interaction, which were never thought of before. The stress produced because of unnecessary meetings, loss of independence and office politics leads to unhappiness.
In the present study, the data that was collected for analysis was provided by volunteers. Reliability of this data is questionable. Because of flexibility of work arrangement, there is a chance that telecommuters would exaggerate the benefit of working from home. It is also noteworthy that most of the telecommuters were the people who earlier worked in offices on a full-time base. This would certainly influence their satisfaction level in present work.
Telecommuting is beneficial to both the organization and the workers who are working in it. Less stress in telecommuting increases the efficiency of workers and also gives them more satisfaction. This study proves that personal interaction, rather than being beneficial, can actually create a sense of overload on workers and reduce their performance. The study also gives some good strategies for the organizations where teleworking is not possible. “Collaborative teams could be encouraged to limit the number of scheduled meetings, and to only involve team members who are vital to the meeting objectives. Physical boundaries within the organization may also be useful, such as ‘quiet offices’ where employees can work when they need to focus without distraction.”
For More Information:
Why Teleworkers Are More Satisfied with Their Jobs Than Office-Based Workers
Journal of Applied Communication Research, October 2010
By Kathryn L. Fonner; Michael E. Roloff; University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Northwestern University, Milwaukee, WI
*FYI Living Lab Reports Are Summaries of the Original Research.
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