Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Telecommuting increases work hours and blurs boundary between work and home, new study shows

Date:
December 4, 2012
Source:
University of Texas at Austin
Summary:
A new sociology study shows that most telecommuters add five to seven hours to their workweek compared with those who work exclusively at the office.

With fluctuating gas prices and the increasing call for work-life balance, telecommuting has become an attractive option for busy professionals. Yet according to a new study from The University of Texas at Austin, for most employees who work remotely, telecommuting equates to working more hours.

The study, co-authored by Jennifer Glass, professor in the Department of Sociology and the Population Research Center, shows that most of the 30 percent of respondents who work from home add five to seven hours to their workweek compared with those who work exclusively at the office. They are also significantly less likely to work a standard 40 hour schedule and more likely to work overtime. In fact, most telecommuting hours occur after an employee has already put in 40 hours of work at the office.

Using two nationally representative data sources -- the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 panel and special supplements from the U.S. Census Bureau's Current Population Survey -- Glass and her colleague, Mary Noonan, associate professor of sociology at the University of Iowa, analyzed trends in the use of telecommuting among employees and employers in the U.S. civilian workforce.

The results, published in Monthly Labor Review, indicate that telecommuting causes work to seep into home life, a problem previously identified in the 2008 Pew Networked Workers survey. According to the survey, a majority of tech-savvy workers claim that telecommuting technology has increased their overall work hours and that employees use technology, especially email, to perform work tasks even when sick or on vacation.

"Careful monitoring of this blurred boundary between work and home time and the erosion of 'normal working hours' in many professions can help us understand the expansion of work hours overall among salaried workers," says Glass, who is the Barbara Pierce Bush Regents Professor in Liberal Arts.

The researchers also found the labor demand for work-family accommodation does not seem to propel the distribution of telecommuting hours. In fact, parents with dependent children are no more likely to work from home than the population as a whole. According to the findings, employees with authority and status are more likely than others to have the option to work remotely because they have more control of their work schedules.

The authors conclude that telecommuting has not permeated the American workplace, and where it has become commonly used, it is not very helpful in reducing work-family conflicts. Instead, it appears to have allowed employers to impose longer workdays, facilitating workers' needs to add hours to the standard workweek.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas at Austin. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mary C. Noonan and Jennifer L. Glass. The hard truth about telecommuting. Monthly Labor Review, June 2012

Cite This Page:

University of Texas at Austin. "Telecommuting increases work hours and blurs boundary between work and home, new study shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121204145826.htm>.
University of Texas at Austin. (2012, December 4). Telecommuting increases work hours and blurs boundary between work and home, new study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121204145826.htm
University of Texas at Austin. "Telecommuting increases work hours and blurs boundary between work and home, new study shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121204145826.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Heartbleed Hack Leads To Arrest

Heartbleed Hack Leads To Arrest

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A 19-year-old computer science student has been arrested in relation to a data breach of 900 social insurance numbers from Canada's revenue agency. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
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