Study: Employees with flexible hours work harder, are more satisfied
Cranfield management professors Clare Kelliher and Deirdre Anderson used a questionnaire to survey more than 2,000 employees at three large multi-national, Britain-based corporations.
Analyzing responses, researchers found that employees who worked remotely one day a week — thus reducing their required weekly office hours — reported higher job satisfaction, lower stress and stronger loyalty to their company than employees who didn’t have flexible hours.
In 37 random interviews with some of the flex workers, the scientists discovered that flex employees also reported increased work intensity, which amounts to higher productivity and longer hours.
A more intense work schedule is traditionally linked to familial strain and increased stress. But employees with flexible hours — especially those working remotely — reported higher job satisfaction, lower stress levels and greater company loyalty, despite the longer total hours.
According to the researchers, the results suggest that an employee is more willing to be flexible with an employer that’s flexible with him or her. In return for a flexible schedule and freedom, an employee is more likely to work harder to repay the favor.