Study finds new way to reduce stress: Work from home

The researchers said that managers need to consider their employees' behaviour when allocating work from home © Shutterstock

We’ve all wanted to work from home at some point in our career as it gives us stability and self-sufficiency. And a new study has found that people who have both these qualities are best suited for work from home opportunities.

This new study from the Baylor University examined the impact of remote work on employees’ well-being and offered several ways to help managers provide work from home opportunities that are valuable to both the employee and the employer.

“Any organization, regardless of the extent to which people work remotely, needs to consider the well-being of their employees as they implement more flexible working practices,” the researchers wrote in the paper.

For the study, published in European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, the team measured the level of autonomy, defined as worker’s independence, and strain, defined in this study as exhaustion, disengagement, and dissatisfaction and emotional stability of the employees.

“A total of 403 working adults were surveyed for the two studies that made up the research,” said lead author Sara Perry in the study.

Emotional stability, Dr Perry explained in the paper, “Captures how even-keeled someone is or, on the opposite end, how malleable their emotions are. An example would be if something stressful happens at work, a person who is high on emotional stability would take it in stride, remain positive and figure out how to address it.”

The team found that employees reporting high levels of autonomy and emotional stability appeared to be the highly able to succeed in remote work positions. Also, employees reporting high levels of job autonomy with lower levels of emotional stability appeared to be more vulnerable to strain.

To add to their findings, the team also offered recommendations to the managers who look into the remote-work arrangements in a company. They said that managers need to consider their employees’ behaviour when allocating work from home.