July 26, 2010

Telecommuters Happy To Work 19 Hours Longer

Studies we’ve reviewed show that telecommuters’  work/life balance is better than office workers, and they work longer hours. Now researchers from Brigham Young University have put some numbers on it.

BYU researchers analyzed data from 24,436 IBM employees in 75 countries, looking for the point when employees reported that work interfered with personal and family life.

“For office workers on a regular schedule, the breaking point was 38 hours per week. Given a flexible schedule and the option to telecommute, employees were able to clock 57 hours per week before experiencing such conflict,” according to press release.

Lead study author E. Jeffrey Hill, a professor in BYU’s School of Family Life said, “Managers were initially skeptical about the wisdom of working at home and said things like, ‘If we can’t see them, how can we know they are working?’” Today more than 80 percent of IBM managers agree that productivity increases in a flexible environment.

The study, titled “Finding an Extra Day or Two,”  is in the June issue of the Journal of Family Psychology.