Telework means working from home. Sometimes it is also referred to as smart work, distributed work or blended work. Since technology has invaded our homes, giving us fast internet services, smartphones and video conferencing from anywhere in the world are opening doors to a new era of unique work environments.

In 2011, a global survey of more than 18,500 workers in 24 countries was recorded in which 35 percent telecommuted at least once a week and 60 percent reported that they will consider working from home full time if given the opportunity.

Since then, major corporations in the world have taken note of this trend and are eager to learn how working from home can affect the bottom line in business revenue and increase productivity while cutting back on overhead resulting from paying for utilities, rental buildings for office space when employees are working onsite.

Whether employees will do better or worse if they work from home or from an office space is a question, which has been put to test. Despite telework becoming a mainstream trend, many managers still loathe losing professional control over the physical presence of their employees in their office setups thinking that remote work or teleworking leads to their slacking off.

In contrast, studies have shown, that employees who worked in the office reported a drop in motivation when deadlines were required or when work became tough. Workers also reported being even more strained when they had to stay in the office watching the time tick while they were feeling tired and therefore rather than clocking out, taking a break, listening to music, or playing with their child and then returning back to work later to meet the deadlines performed better as it became less stressful and more fulfilling to perform and achieve results at their own

However, in a Chinese study, it was found that though employees performed better at home when at work yet they did not receive promotions any faster than coworkers who worked in the office set up. It could be because they may be discriminated against or they may be uninterested in managerial roles that require physical presence at an office set up. Moreover, too much time away from work also compromised networking and professional relationships with coworkers who felt resentment towards employees who worked from home.

In conclusion, the study found that the best arrangements included a blend of remote and on-site work. Job satisfaction increased with remote work but only to a point. After 15 hours out of the office a week it plateaued and then it dipped. Job satisfaction also depended on other factors of how interdepended employees were on their co-workers. Remote work is not suitable to workers like actors, care attendants, construction workers or others that have to be physically present to do the work on site however those who do succeed at teleworking have a strong need for autonomy and feel confident in their work.

But people who feel a sense of duty to their employers excel onsite while introverts who find social situations draining perform well remotely. Thus the study showed people with a high need for autonomy and less need for the structure were the most efficient workers in any setup.


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