What to do when telework isn't enough

Monday - 11/29/2010, 5:29am EST

Office politics, interruptions, constant meetings and information overload... all are job stressors that teleworkers say they're happier being able to avoid.

In fact, a new study finds working remotely "alleviates more stress than it creates."

The main benefit, according to a press release on the study, "reported by participants who telework at least three days a week is the decreased work-life conflict that a flexible work arrangement allows."

But if teleworking three days a week isn't possible, the study notes many of the benefits could be found in the office if the right strategies are used. Among the suggestions:

  • Limiting the number of meetings and mass emails.
  • Streamlining office communication by creating a repository of information that can be accessed at any time.
  • Designating certain times when, and spaces where, office-based employees can work uninterrupted.
  • Creating a supportive climate where employees can register concerns without fear of retaliation.
  • Encouraging employees to disconnect from workplace communication when they are finished for the day.

The study, conducted by Kathryn Fonner, UWM assistant professor of communication appears in the November issue of the Journal of Applied Communication Research.