Staples Says Telecommuters are Happier and Healthier

I know, personally, that I’m happier as a telecommuter than I ever was working in the traditional, commuting work force. But it’s nice to see another survey confirming what I already know. Staples, one of my favorite stores since they cater to home office customers like me, notes that 86% of telecommuters say they’re more productive in their home office. They also report that telecommuters are happier and healthier, more loyal, and better balanced.

  • Happier and healthier – When asked to draw comparisons, telecommuters say their stress levels have dropped 25 percent on average since working from home. Seventy-three percent even say they eat healthier when working from home.
  • More loyal – Without the trek to the office – on average, a 75-mile round-trip for respondents – 76 percent of telecommuters are more willing to put in extra time on work and say they are more loyal to their company since telecommuting.
  • Better balanced – More than 80 percent say they now maintain a better work-life balance.

There’s No Place Like a Home Office: Staples Survey Shows Telecommuters are Happier and Healthier, With 25% Less Stress When Working from Home

Kimberly Weisul suggests the real reason telecommuters are happier is because they get a break from their colleagues. Citing this study conducted by Kathryn L. Fonner (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and Michael E. Roloff (Northwestern University), her article noted that telecommuters feel:

  • Telecommuters are less aware of office politics – and that seems to be healthy. In the study, telecommuters were less likely agree with statements such as “Favoritism rather than merit determines who gets ahead here,” and “Good ideas are desired even when it means disagreeing with superiors.” Of course, it is remotely possible that companies that allow telecommuting actually have cultures that are more open, honest, and merit-based than others, but given the wide range of companies whose employees work from home, the researchers think that’s unlikely.
  • Telecommuters are less stressed by meetings and interruptions. As much as telecommuters may encourage their office-based employees to ‘call any time,’ it appears that their colleagues are reluctant to do so. The authors didn’t say whether or not that reluctance would eventually impact telecommuters’ advancement within the organization. In the short term, though, being a little bit isolated appears to be a boon to telecommuters, relieving them of significant stress.
  • Telecommuting is good for work-life balance, which is good for employers. Those who worked from home reported a better work-life balance than those who commuted every day. A good work-life balance is associated with increased job satisfaction, less job stress, and a lower likelihood of switching jobs.

The Real Reason Telecommuters Are Happier

While telecommuting isn’t for everyone, it certainly seems to be a good solution for some employees and companies alike when it’s implemented well. For me it’s an easy choice, there really is no place like {a} home {office}.