Telecommuting can improve productivity and engagement... If it's done right.
From Forbes, 31 Aug 2017
Out of the 11.6 million employed people in Australia, 3.5 million are telecommuters. In other words, about three in ten people work outside of a traditional work structure. This could include working from home - or anywhere in the world - making use of the internet, email or telephone to stay connected. While some jobs allow employees to telecommute some of their work days, other employees are fully telecommuters, which means that they do not have a workspace in a traditional office.
According a survey conducted by Flexjobs, a job search site specialising in telecommuting, part-time, freelance, and flexible jobs, almost seven in ten professionals believed that their productivity would increase if they worked remotely. A separate survey conducted by Gallup found that while employees who telecommute do appear to be more productive and engaged, this incremental effect nullifies when the job becomes fully remote. It seems that telecommuting can help in improving productivity and employee engagement, but this benefit increases when employees are able to spend some time telecommuting and some time working in a location with their coworkers.
This suggests that the social aspect of work, for example providing developmental feedback, is still essential in good work design. Implications for the design of fully remote work include ensuring that fully telecommuting employees continue to be supported by their managers, for example through clear communication channels.
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