Remote positions have gained in popularity in the last few years, especially among parents looking for more flexible schedules. While working from home is often touted as more convenient, a recent study questions whether or not it’s actually less stressful than commuting into an office for work.
According to the study out of Baylor University, working from home is best suited towards people with certain personalities. While remote positions can offer some people lower stress, for others it might have the opposite effect. The researchers found that employees best suited to working from home were those that had autonomy, or the ability to work well independently, as well as emotional stability.
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As lead author Sara Perry, Ph.D., assistant professor of management in Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business explains, emotional stability “captures how even keeled someone is or, on the opposite end, how malleable their emotions are.” Perry went on to say that people with high emotional stability can take stressful situations at work “in stride” while “a person low on emotional stability might get frustrated and discouraged, expending energy with those emotions instead of on the issue at hand.”
Surveying over 400 working adults, the researchers measured each person’s levels of strain (meaning exhaustion and dissatisfaction), autonomy and emotional stability at work. They concluded that those who had the highest levels of both autonomy and emotional stability were more likely to thrive in remote positions.
While autonomy was critical to being successful in a work-from-home position, if an employee had low levels of emotional stability they would be at higher risk of suffering from job-related strain or stress.
Bottom line? Working from home isn’t for everyone—but it has proven to be a huge help for working parents who need the flexibility.
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