A new study has found that workers freed from the constraints of the office environment by working from home are more satisfied with their work than those who do all their work from their desks. This may come as no surprise, but the study found that tele-commuting workers are also more “proud to tell people I work for my company”, feel that there is more “open, honest two-way communication”, believe that senior management values their contribution more, and are less likely to be considering leaving their employer.
In light of all this, the most surprising finding may be that only 4% of the workers surveyed telecommute – a figure that hasn’t changed much in recent years.
There have been several stories lately about the unhappiness of people in the legal profession – or at least those working on Bay Street. More use of telecommuting could be one of the ways in which the profession deals with these problems. In my short time working at a law firm last summer, I was surprised by the fact that so few people work away from the office in a job whose main responsibilities are thinking, reading, writing and research.
If Russell Smith and his firm can use lawyers in India to do much of their legal work, I think it should be easy enough for someone in a firm in Toronto to work out of their home in Markham a few days a week. Provide them with one of those video phones mentioned by Simon earlier today and it will be like they’ve hardly even left the office. Except, of course, that they’ll be happier, healthier and more productive.