New Paper – Working from home associated with greater productivity and satisfaction

A new paper in PLOS ONE explores how working from home (WFH) impacts work engagement, performance and job satisfaction.  “Working from home and subsequent work outcomes: Pre-pandemic evidence,” authored by Ying Chen, Dorota Weziak-Bialowolska, Matthew T. Lee, Piotr Bialowolski, Richard G. Cowden, Eileen McNeely and Tyler J. VanderWeele looked at longitudinal data collected before the Covid-19 pandemic (July 2018 – July 2019).  The study aimed to examine the associations between WFH and multiple work-related outcomes in a sample of employees who worked from home frequently or full-time.

The results suggested that WFH for 5 days/week versus never WFH was associated with subsequently less work distraction, greater perceived productivity/engagement and greater job satisfaction, and was associated with subsequent work-family conflicts to a lesser extent. There was also evidence suggesting that long work hours, caregiving responsibilities, and a greater sense of meaningful work can all potentially attenuate the benefits of WFH.  The authors note that as we move towards the post-pandemic era, further research will be needed to understand the impacts of WFH and resources for supporting employees who work from home.

Read the full paper.