Study: The Unexpected Benefits of Telecommuting

Last Updated Jun 16, 2010 11:39 AM EDT

It's no great surprise that telecommuting can improve your work-life balance. After all, that's kind of the point to telecommuting to begin with. You travel less, get to work in your slippers, and you're around to care for the kids and run mundane errands. What you might not expect, though, is that telecommuting does all that while managing to get the equivalent of 2 additional days of work out of those who take part.


A recent study by researchers from Bringham Young University analyzed data from almost 25,000 IBM employees, looking for the point at which 25 percent of employees reported that work interfered with personal and family life.

That conflict kicks in around 38 hours for office workers, but didn't bother telecommuters until about 57 hours.

Interestingly, employers reap these benefits without full-time telecommuters. According to the BYU press release:
Not all of those 57 hours are telecommuting hours, notes lead study author E. Jeffrey Hill, a professor in BYU's School of Family Life. The typical high-flexibility work arrangement includes a mix of office time and firing up the laptop from home, the venue depending on the task at hand.
We've known all along that telecommuting is a great deal, and this study drives the point home. Be sure to pass this tidbit on to your boss when you ask for permission to work from home one or two days per week. Oh, and here's how to make that pitch:
Photo by Eric_I_E

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