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Balanced Family Life & Telecommuting Doubles Your Productivity
July 8, 2010 at 6:07 pm #105096
TriciaParticipantGreat study published in the Journal of Family Psychology by Bringham Young University!
Telecommuters experience a better work/life balance than office-based employees even when working significantly longer hours. Telecommuting is really only beneficial for reducing work-life conflict when it is accompanied by flexitime.
For office-based workers the point thatstaff felt that their work life started to interfere with their home life came after 38 hours of work a week vs. those offered a flexible working schedule(including from home)could put in 57 hours a week without feeling such a conflict.
Prof E Jeffrey Hill, who led the study, said: “Telecommuting is really only beneficial for reducing work-life conflict when it is accompanied by flexitime.”
“A down economy may actually give impetus to flexibility because most options save money or are cost-neutral. Flexible work options are associated with higher job satisfaction, boosting morale when it may be suffering in a down economy.”
*The study “Finding an Extra Day or Two” is published in the Journal of Family Psychology and was based on a study of 24,436 employees of IBM, the technology company, across 75 different countries..
July 8, 2010 at 6:20 pm #105102
Terrence (Terry) Hill PHRParticipant
Thanks for sharing Tricia! IBM has a lot of experience with telework. I’m guessing that the increased productivity implies that teleworkers are willing to work longer hours, not necessary that they are able to work twice as fast as office workers.
The Federal Coach has a great article on telework in today’s edition: http://views.washingtonpost.com/leadership/fedcoach/2010/07/sometimes-the-sign-of-good.html#more.
July 8, 2010 at 7:17 pm #105100
A related article from the BYU Universe
Correlation found between happiness and flexible hours
Wed, 06/09/2010 – 20:22
By MEGAN MORGAN and JORDAN DZIENDZIEL
A recent BYU study found that sending employees home can be a win-win situation: the employee is happier, more productive and able to work longer hours.
Jeff Hill, Janet Erickson and Erin Holmes of the College of Family Life studied 24,436 IBM employees in 75 countries. According to a news release, 25 percent of employees reported that work interfered with personal and family life.
The study shows that under traditional working conditions, an employee can work happily for 38 hours, whereas an employee with flextime (workplace flexibility) can work up to 57 hours without sacrificing valuable personal and family time.
Holmes said she can personally attest to the results of the study.
“The implication of our research has helped me be more thoughtful about how I construct my day,” Holmes said in an e-mail. “Knowing that I can still be a good productive scholar (maybe even a more productive scholar) when I take advantage of the flexibility in an academic career helps reduce the work-life stress I feel.”
As the primary provider for her family and mother of three, Holmes said it takes more scheduling and planning on her part, but working from home also gives her opportunities to build close relationships with her children and still grow in her academic career. Holmes saw the study as an opportunity to share the results of blending family and work responsibilities with others.
According to the study, an employee with workplace flexibility can work the same number of hours, interspersing hours of quality family time each day. For example, in the evening, the flexible worker could be at home with family during the dinner hour and continue to work for several hours from home after the children are in bed.
According to Hill, the advantages of flextime are becoming more prominent since the recession.
“A down economy may actually give impetus to flexibility because most options save money or are cost-neutral,” Hill said. “Flexible work options are associated with higher job satisfaction, boosting morale when it may be suffering in a down economy.”
Hill said he hopes the study will demonstrate clearly that flextime and telecommuting can be beneficial to not only the individual, but the company as well.
“Employers can continue to pay staff members wages without increasing office space needs when staff members work via satellite or home office,” Holmes said. “That means employers can get more bang for their buck because their employees who telecommute are more likely to be productive and happy employees, and the employer has reduced costs for office space, additional parking on-site, etc.”
Hill attributed most of the editing of the manuscript for the article titled, “Workplace Flexibility, Work Hours, and Work-Life Conflict: Finding an Extra Day or Two,” to Sarah June Carroll, a senior who will graduate this summer. The study will be published in the June issue of the Journal of Family Psychology.
Purchase for 11.95 the study/article from Journal of Family Psychology
August 23, 2010 at 8:48 pm #105098
Teleworking is a WIN-WIN work opportunity and offers greater flexibility in computer work and writing. This is trully a great privilege and perk to have. Being able to telework a couple of days per week allows me greater focus, concentration, no disruptions when I need to think clearly, less stress, greater productivity in accomplishment of work products, and saving gas/traveling time to and from work. Having access to social networking tools for work, keeps me involved and in touch with happenings at work. I also noticed that I had higher levels of well-being, satisfaction, energy and just feeling good. A great boost to those happy genes!
It’s quite a transition from the crowded cubicle I share with five other people on the other days — the chaos, the interruptions and constant chatter surrounding you. However, I’m able to cope better in the environment and appreciate my cube mates more as a result of this working flexibility. It gives me a chance to communicate and share in face-to-face interractions as well as teambuilding — the best of both worlds! It’s a good work-balance fit. My Federal Manager sees value in this program. I’m glad to be able to participate in the new 21st century work environment — workers have the ability to be mobile and contribute at a much higher level. Yes, it’s true that you do put more hours and effort in your work. However, the benefits are rewarding.
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