Telecommuters Work More at Home

United Press International

February 20, 2000

WASHINGTON, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- People who telecommute-work from home via computers and telephones-spend more time on the job than when they go into the office, a study suggests.

      "Based on this research it is clear that those who engage in telecommuting do not short-change their employers in terms of time spent working," said Lisa Cree, research coordinator for Medsite.com, a medical interest website.

      Cree and her colleague, Richard Sorenson of the California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego, studied responses of 5,000 workers who completed a telecommuting survey in 1996. All the employees involved in the study had been employed full-time with the same company for at least a year and had been telecommuting for at least 12 months, fulfilling part of their job duties at home via technology.

      In a presentation Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, Cree said that not only did telecommuters work more-the more they telecommuted the time they spent on the job.

      "The more employees work at home, the more flexibility they report," Cree said. "The more flexibility employees report, the more job satisfaction they have."

      Paradoxically, Cree said that more time spent working should decrease the employees flexibility and impair the balance between work and families. Yet, she said the statistical correlations showed that "the more hours worked, the more job satisfaction that is reported." The results indicate, Cree said, that "managers should not be too concerned with whether employees involved in telecommuting are working. Probably they are working more than the office workers."

      Cree said employees who are telecommuting tend to do extra work. For example, she said, one telecommuter said that after dinner he would go back to his company computer and check e-mail, then respond to messages and make necessary phone calls and end up putting in another two to three hours on company business.

      "We interpret these findings to be positive regarding telecommuting," Cree said, "not that the effects are large, for they are not. But, telecommuters work as many and probably more hours than office workers."

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      Copyright 2000 by United Press International.

     




This news story is not produced by the American Psychological Association and does not necessarily represent the opinions of the association.