Telecommuters More Satisfied than Office Workers
Employees who telecommute the majority of the work week are more satisfied with their jobs compared to those working mostly in the office. That’s because working remotely alleviates more stress than it creates, according to a new study out of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). The study bodes well for corporations exploring alternative workplace strategies that include virtual office space.
Conducted by Kathryn Fonner, UWM Assistant Professor of Communication, and Michael Roloff, a Professor of Communication Studies at Northwestern University, the study compared the advantages and disadvantages of each work arrangement.
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 also 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, says 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,” says Fonner. “With lower stress and fewer distractions, employees can prevent work from seeping into their personal lives.”
Davinci Virtual Office Solutions applauds the work of researchers who explore the pros and cons of telework. Virtual office solutions are gaining momentum in companies large and small, helping to offer a test bed for researchers to explore real outcomes. The results of the UWM study confirm Davinci Virtual Office Solutions’ belief that virtual offices are part and parcel of a happier workforce—and a happier workforce means a loyal workforce.