The commute downstairs: working from home not always best

The commute downstairs: working from home not always best – Work

Colin Allen

Working from home may not be as great as you think. A new study has found that people who work from home are not always happier than those who keep work locked in the office. They are likely to work longer hours and end up with more family conflict.

Ellen Kossek, Ph.D., a professor of labor and industrial relations at Michigan State University, surveyed nearly 400 employees from a variety of companies for one year. She found that people who only work in the office spent on average 43 hours a week doing their jobs. Employees with home offices spent 45 hours per week at their jobs. And those who worked from three places–for example, teleworking from a cafe in addition to the home and office–spent an average of 52 hours per week on the job.

The blurring of the boundaries between work and home is here to stay, says Kossek, so it’s important that we learn to manage it. She does not recommend that companies drop work flexibility. Instead, she suggests that out-of-office workers try to establish a strong divide between work and family life.

COPYRIGHT 2003 Sussex Publishers, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group