Which Way at the Intersection of Work and Home?

Topic:  Strategic HRWork-Life Balance
Publication: Research and Practice in Human Resource Management
Article:Satisfaction and Perceived Productivity when Professionals Work From Home.
Blogger: Sarah Bowen

Working from home (WFH) is a clear alternative to the 9-to-5 lifestyle, but what conditions are necessary in order to achieve both satisfaction and productivity when working from home?

Influences related to employers were examined in this study that assessed how organization, job, individual, and domestic characteristics affect professional employees who WFH. Twenty different organizations in Australia provided a sample of 50 employees who had worked from home for at least three months. Through anonymous questionnaires sent through the mail, employees were surveyed on a variety of topics relating to the multiple variables assessed in this study.  Results from the study showed:

· The employees who had technical assistance, HR support, managerial confidence, and trained counterparts were more satisfied, but not more productive than those in the study without these factors.

· Employees that WFH and received financial support from their employers were significantly more productive.

· Further training for the employee did not correspond to either satisfaction or productivity.

· Overall, organizational and job characteristics exhibited more significant relationships with the outcome measures of productivity and satisfaction.

Many different circumstances surround individuals who WFH. There is no recipe for training and maintaining the ideal employee that works from home, so managers and HR staff need to recognize the  variations required in guiding these employees. Trust and support are also crucial elements that the HR department needs to facilitate with WFH employees in order to boost satisfaction and productivity.

So ditch the pantyhose, leave the car in the garage and forget bad-mouthing the drivers in front of you…working from home can be both productive and satisfying with proper support and trust from a company!

Baker, E., Avery, G. C. & Crawford, J. (2007). Satisfaction and Perceived Productivity when Professionals Work From Home, Research and Practice in Human Resource Management, 15(1), 37-62.