NEW YORK—Flexible workplaces are gaining attention his week in light of a new study from professors out of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and the University of Delaware in Newark.

The researchers are tying flexible schedules with more sleep and more exercise. The study appears in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior and concludes that workers who tap into flex time opportunities are happier and healthier. That’s a boon for virtual office workers, who enjoy perhaps the great flexibility of all.

"We theorize greater schedule control and reduced work-family conflict as key mechanisms linking this initiative with health outcomes,” the authors write. “Increasing employees’ schedule control and reducing their work-family conflict are key mechanisms linking the ROWE innovation with changes in employees’ health behaviors; they also predict changes in well-being measures, providing indirect links between ROWE and well-being.”

ROWE stands for Results Only Work Environment, which focuses only on the end results an employee drives rather than how many hours they work. Virtual offices set the stage for companies to implement ROWE and give employees more freedom, which can ultimately lower turnover and drive greater employee engagement.

Alternative workplace strategies like virtual office space also help companies save significant dollars on commercial real estate expenses. With virtual office space, you can reserve less physical office space without losing the ability for employees to collaborate. Mobile and virtual office technologies make it possible for employees to build teams and drive results in a distributed workforce.