Out of Office

Posts Tagged ‘research’

New Study Confirms the Benefits of Flexible Work Arrangements

A new randomized controlled trial conducted by researchers from the University of Minnesota and MIT Sloan School of Management has added to the growing evidence that flexible work arrangements contribute to workers being happier, healthier and more productive.

The study recruited more than 700 workers from the IT department of a Fortune 500 company. The control group worked under the company’s pre-existing policies while the treatment group received training in practices designed to improve their sense of control over their work, and focused on results rather than time spent at work.

The practices included reorganising work schedules, working from home more often, rethinking the amount of time spent in meetings, using instant messaging for communication, and anticipating periods of high demand. Managers received training in supporting the professional development of their workers, and understanding their personal circumstances.

At the conclusion of the 12 month study the treatment group reported having greater control over their work, more support from their bosses and spending more time with their families. They also reported greater job satisfaction, and less stress and burnout than workers in the control group. They also showed fewer symptoms of psychological distress.

The research is groundbreaking in that it is the first to test flexible work arrangements using a randomized controlled trial – the gold standard for this type of study.

Read the press release in full..

Does Working Out Of Office Hurt Teamwork?

One of the persistent myths about telecommuting is that teamwork suffers when team members work remotely. However, recent research finds that the key factors influencing successful teams have little to do with the proximity of team members. Ashley Speagle summarizes the science of successful teams:

  • team members demonstrate a shared trust, purpose and understanding of team norms and mental processes
  • team dynamics are built on a foundation of team building exercises, non-work communication, diversity and social sensitivity
  • team members contribute equally and collectively score highly in reading emotions

The key message is that none of the features of successful teamwork is determined by whether workers are distributed or co-located.

Read the full article on the 1M4WF blog.

Seven Reasons Trust, Pride and Camaraderie Are on the Rise

I’ve just read an interesting article on the dawn of the Great Workplace Era. Research by the Great Place to Work Institute reveals that the best workplaces around the world are getting better, that is, there is growth in the extent to which employees trust their leaders, take pride in their job and enjoy their colleagues. The researchers cite seven reasons for this trend:

  • increased awareness among company leaders globally of the importance of a great, high-trust workplace culture
  • mounting evidence that great workplaces lead to better business results
  • millennials are demanding better workplaces
  • the emergence of a well-being movement is nudging organisations to improve their cultures
  • once an organisation develops a positive workplace culture, that culture tends to continue getting better
  • innovation has come to be the lifeblood for many businesses, especially those operating in global, competitive markets
  • technologies such as social media and mobile, personal devices that can easily record images and audio are providing unprecedented transparency into organisations

Read more at Workforce.com.

Infographic: CareerBuilder Working From Home Survey

CareerBuilder published the infographic shown below to summarise the results of their 2011 Working From Home survey.