Study: Telecommuters can work longer, stay more sane

Looking for a way to get more done with an understaffed IT department? Try sending some employees home.

Telecommuters can handle 50% more work than their office-based peers before feeling their work-life balance is out of whack.

That’s the main finding of a recent Brigham Young University study of nearly 25,000 IBM employees around the globe.

For office workers, work started to interfere without their personal lives after about 38 hours per week, on average. On the other hand, telecommuters with flexible schedules could work up to 57 hours a week before there was a conflict.

Researchers noted that the telecommuters studied didn’t do all their work at home — most had schedules that mixed telecommuting with time in the office.

Also, flex-time is the real key to seeing productivity benefits: “Telecommuting is really only beneficial for reducing work-life conflict when it is accompanied by flextime,” said the study’s author.

Does your department have employees who work from home? Do you agree it makes staffers more productive. Tell us your experience in the comments section below.