Employee Well-being and Flex Work: Research Findings
By Madison Hanscom, PhD
Virtual work is becoming a part of everyday life for many individuals. What does the research have to say about how it impacts our well-being? Working from home is associated with…
• More positive emotions and lower degrees of negative emotions (1,2)
• A reduction in work stress (3)
• Less emotional exhaustion (4,2)
• More physical activity (5)
• Less work-family conflict (6)
• Increased feelings of autonomy (7)
• Job satisfaction (8)
Is there a dark side of flex work on our well-being?
People are social animals and have better well-being when they feel supported. Many individuals fear they will be socially isolated when working remotely — and for good reason! Researchers show that when organizational support is present in a remote setting, individuals feel less isolation and have higher satisfaction with their jobs (9). Thus, it is critical for companies to find ways to boost social support in a flex work environment in order to keep workers happy. See our blog post on flex work and loneliness for helpful tips.
At Propulo Consulting, we care about the health and wellbeing of all workers. We partner with you to improve the world of work using the latest insights from research. Our team has the expertise to help you implement a sensible Flex Work strategy without pain. We work with you to ensure your company culture and processes develop accordingly during or after a Flex Work transition so you can continue to deliver results for your organization and customers. Please visit our website for the latest insights and research into flexible work.
(1) Redman, T., Snape, E., & Ashurst, C. (2009). Location, location, location: Does place of work really matter? British Journal of Management, 20, 171-181.
(2) Anderson, A. J., Kaplan, S. A., & Vega, R. P. (2015). The impact of telework on emotional experience: When, and for whom, does telework improve daily affective well- being? European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 24(6), 882-897.
(3) Raghuram S, Wiesenfeld B. 2004. Work-nonwork conflict and job stress among virtual workers. Human Resource Management, 43:259–78
(4)Golden, T. D. (2006a). Avoiding depletion in virtual work: Telework and the intervening impact of work exhaustion on commitment and turnover intentions. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 69(1), 176-187.
(5) Henke, R. M., Benevent, R., Schulte, P., Rinehart, C., Crighton, K. A., & Corcoran, M. (2016). The effects of telecommuting intensity on employee health. American Journal of Health Promotion, 30(8), 604-612.
(6) Gajendran, R. S., & Harrison, D. A. (2007). The good, the bad, and the unknown about telecommuting: Meta-analysis of psychological mediators and individual consequences. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92(6), 1524.
(7) Kelliher C, Anderson D. 2008. For better or for worse? An analysis of how flexible working practices influence employees’ perceptions of job quality. International Journal of Human Resource Management. 19:419–31
(9) Gajendran, R. S., & Harrison, D. A. (2007). The good, the bad, and the unknown about telecommuting: meta-analysis of psychological mediators and individual consequences. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92(6), 1524-1541.
(9) Bentley, T. A., Teo, S. T. T., McLeod, L., Tan, F., Bosua, R., & Gloet, M. (2016). The role of organisational support in teleworker wellbeing: A socio-technical systems approach. Applied Ergonomics, 52, 207-215.