Study: Working From Home Great for Productivity But Comes With Hefty Price Tag

home-office-569153_960_720Welsh researchers have found that while working from home does wonders for an employee’s productivity, working from the comfort of their own couch makes it harder for them to get away from the job.

Researchers from the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University in Wales have found that working from home brings greater job satisfaction and a higher commitment to the employer. But, since there is no physical separation of the home and the workplace, teleworkers have a harder time shutting off work at the end of the day.

The Global Analytics Workplace has studied something similar. According to their findings, our nation is living in a time where more and more people are telecommuting than ever before. A full 64 million U.S. employees, or 50% of the entire workforce, hold a job that is compatible with at least part-time telework. Of this number, a full 80% believe that telecommuting is an important perk. The option for remote work has been shown to reduce attrition, cut down on wasted meetings, increase employee empowerment, and reduce stress.

However, this is a big price for some to pay, according to the Welsh researchers. Working from home, along with the fact that smartphones are becoming more commonplace, makes our home become enmeshed with our work duties. Because of this, potentially millions of people are having trouble decompressing after a long day on the clock.

Alan Felstead, a research professor on the project, explains to Today:

“Traditionally, we have had spatial boundaries made for us by offices, shops and factories, which mean that home and other places of leisure are separated from work. However remote work blurs those lines and workers have to reinstate boundaries. That is often why it is difficult [for employees] to switch off.”

To come up with this conclusion, the researchers looked at survey responses from more than 15,000 British employees. They found that those who work from home tend to work extra hours in the day and put in more effort than if they were in the office. This excess effort made it hard for them to unwind and to have a healthy work-life balance.

So while it may be hard to remove work from the home, the researchers have a few tips that may make it easier for people to compartmentalize their lives. They explain it is all about boundaries, setting limits for when they are available to their bosses, and to create a concrete work schedule with set hours every week.

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