Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Telecommuting has mostly positive consequences for employees and employers

Date:
November 20, 2007
Source:
American Psychological Association
Summary:
Telecommuting is a win-win for employees and employers, resulting in higher morale and job satisfaction and lower employee stress and turnover. These were among the conclusions of psychologists who examined 20 years of research on flexible work arrangements. Flexible work arrangements give workers more control over their environment, which helps performance and overall job satisfaction.

Telecommuting is a win-win for employees and employers, resulting in higher morale and job satisfaction and lower employee stress and turnover. These were among the conclusions of psychologists who examined 20 years of research on flexible work arrangements.

The findings, based on a meta-analysis of 46 studies of telecommuting involving 12,833 employees, are reported in the Journal of Applied Psychology.

"Our results show that telecommuting has an overall beneficial effect because the arrangement provides employees with more control over how they do their work," said lead author Ravi S. Gajendran. "Autonomy is a major factor in worker satisfaction and this rings true in our analysis. We found that telecommuters reported more job satisfaction, less motivation to leave the company, less stress, improved work-family balance, and higher performance ratings by supervisors."

An estimated 45 million Americans telecommuted in 2006, up from 41 million in 2003, according to the magazine WorldatWork. The researchers defined telecommuting as "an alternative work arrangement in which employees perform tasks elsewhere that are normally done in a primary or central workplace, for at least some portion of their work schedule, using electronic media to interact with others inside and outside the organization."

Gajendran and his fellow researcher David A. Harrison, PhD from Pennsylvania State University, found that telecommuting has more positive than negative effects on employees and employers. "A work-at-home option gives telecommuters more freedom in their work arrangement and removes workers from direct, face-to-face supervision," Gajendran said. In addition, the employees in their study reported that telecommuting was beneficial for managing the often conflicting demands of work and family.

Contrary to popular belief that face time at the office is essential for good work relationships, said Gajendran, telecommuters' relationship with their managers and coworkers did not suffer from telecommuting with one exception. Employees who worked away from their offices for three or more days a week reported worsening of their relationships with coworkers. However, managers who oversaw telecommuters reported that the telecommuters' performance was not negatively affected by working from home. And those who telecommuted reported that they did not believe their careers were likely to suffer from telecommuting.

The typical telecommuter examined in the analysis was a manager or a professional from the information technology or sales and marketing department of a firm. The average age of a telecommuter was 39; men and women were equally represented.

Women telecommuters may derive even greater benefits from telecommuting. The authors found that study samples with greater proportions of women found they received higher performance ratings from their supervisors and that their career prospects improved, rather than worsened.

"Telecommuting has a clear upside: small but favorable effects on perceived autonomy, work-family conflict, job satisfaction, performance, turnover intent and stress," the authors wrote. "Contrary to expectations in both academic and practitioner literatures, telecommuting has no straightforward, damaging effects on the quality of workplace relationships or perceived career prospects."

Journal article: "The Good, the Bad, and the Unknown About Telecommuting: Meta-Analysis of Psychological Mediators and Individual Consequences," Ravi S. Gajendran, PhD and David A. Harrison, PhD, Pennsylvania State University; Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 92, No. 6.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Psychological Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ravi S. Gajendran, David A. Harrison. The good, the bad, and the unknown about telecommuting: Meta-analysis of psychological mediators and individual consequences.. Journal of Applied Psychology, 2007; 92 (6): 1524 DOI: 10.1037/0021-9010.92.6.1524

Cite This Page:

American Psychological Association. "Telecommuting has mostly positive consequences for employees and employers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 November 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071119182930.htm>.
American Psychological Association. (2007, November 20). Telecommuting has mostly positive consequences for employees and employers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071119182930.htm
American Psychological Association. "Telecommuting has mostly positive consequences for employees and employers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071119182930.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus

Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus

AP (July 30, 2014) Scientists in Texas are studying the Ebola virus, which has killed more than 670 people across West Africa this year. Right now, the disease has no vaccine and no specific treatment, with a fatality rate of at least 60 percent. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins