‘Hybrid Teleworkers’ Produce Better Outcomes - Study
4 November 2013 at 9:29 am
Employees who work from home one to three days per week are more productive than those who trek into work everyday, a study has revealed.
The study, led by AUT University’s NZ Work Research Institute in New Zealand and undertaken by the Institute for a Broadband Enabled Society (IBES) at the University of Melbourne, shows that “hybrid teleworkers”, people who work between one and two days from a location other than the workplace, felt “more in control” of their work.
One of the lead authors, Dr Rachelle Bosua, from the University of Melbourne, said work patterns and places of work were changing dramatically as a result of increased adoption of digital technologies.
“Our findings indicate a positive relationship between the ability to telework and well-being which in turn contributes to more productive workers,” she said.
“In addition, work and family life is getting more blended and entwined. These elements pose unique challenges to successfully manage a new era of flexible workers and measure outputs.
“Our study confirms that flexible work is a way for managers to invest in the wellbeing of their workers increasing productivity, job satisfaction, and retaining talented workers.”
The research, which surveyed more than 1800 employees and almost 100 HR and senior managers in 50 businesses and organisations across New Zealand and Australia, found that teleworkers believe their flexible work arrangements allowed them to be more productive and to perform better at work, while managers found they delivered better work outcomes and suffered less from absenteeism.
The study showed that results on individual wellbeing and telework were positive and unanimous across all participants in the following findings:
- Working away from the office engendered a more positive attitude towards work;
- Teleworkers felt “more in control” of their work, which in turn eased work-related stress;
- Family and work life could be better balanced when working away from the office;
- Fewer or no work-related interruptions add to a general feeling of wellbeing;
- The ability to hybrid telework often made workers feel more productive, fostered individual wellbeing, promoted better work-life balance and created a more positive attitude towards work.
The study also revealed that successful telework is contingent on a number of factors, including the following:
- Telework required a different management style based on trust and management of clearly defined individual and team deliverables based on shorter (or day-to-day) time frames;
- Trust from a management and worker perspective was important to foster a productive work environment;
- Specific collaborative IT tools were required to enable teleworkers to work seamlessly from anywhere, and contribute to individual and team productivity.
To view the full report, click here.