Recent research has indicated that there is an increasing tendency for an increased proportion of the worldwide labor market to adopt remote working, either completely or in combination with other forms of flexible working arrangements. According to the International Workplace Group, seven out of ten professionals are now participating in home-based working at least one day per week.
As the trend of remote working continues to rise, more and more professionals are questioning whether they should move their working lives into their own home. With the aid of technologies like Skype and mobile Wi-Fi hotspots, the possibility of flexible and portable working is becoming increasingly available. If you feel you have the necessary skills and experience, please do not hesitate to send us your resume. Are you an outstanding employee? Then why not get in touch with us and have a discussion about the potential opportunities.
According to research conducted by Baylor University and published in the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, it appears that having a high degree of autonomy and emotional stability are both essential for a successful remote working experience. This is clearly an area of importance for organisations and workers alike.
This Is What We Found in Our Research
This research project seeks to explore the effects of remote working on the mental health of workers and proposes a range of solutions to help managers establish remote work environments which are beneficial for both their employees and the company.
The authors of the study emphasise that it is essential for all businesses to take into account the wellbeing of their employees when introducing more flexible working arrangements, regardless of the extent to which remote working is implemented.
Baylor University researchers conducted an analysis of more than 400 people who work remotely, examining a range of factors such as stress levels and personality type. To measure personality, the researchers assessed participants’ emotional stability, which refers to their ability to cope with adversity, and the degree of autonomy they experience in their job, which relates to the amount of freedom they have.
Definitions of Independence and Mental Health
The concept of autonomy is regularly utilised to define the scope of independence that staff members possess in completing their tasks without close supervision. Allowing employees considerable freedom in how they approach their work can often lead to an increased sense of ownership and increased job satisfaction. Furthermore, when provided with greater autonomy, employees are more likely to apply additional effort and demonstrate genuine enthusiasm for their tasks.
Resilience in the Face of Adversity
Dr. Sara Perry, the lead researcher of the study, has stated in a press release that emotional steadiness is a critical element in how someone copes with issues they encounter at work. She asserts that “if something undesirable happens in the workplace, a person with strong emotional resilience would take it in their stride, retain a positive outlook and find a way to deal with the situation”. Those who lack emotional poise may become deflated and distraught, diverting their focus and resources away from the issue.
Successful telecommuters have been noted to demonstrate high levels of autonomy and emotional stability. Those who have experience of working remotely will be aware that it can be difficult to maintain frequent communication with managers, thus necessitating the need to make decisions independently. Working remotely can prove to be a challenge if one lacks a robust sense of autonomy and the capability to work without close supervision.
The research conducted has highlighted that an imbalance of workplace autonomy and emotional stability can potentially lead to strain. It is essential to ensure that remote workers maintain a healthy level of autonomy in order to safeguard their well-being; however, if emotional stability is lacking, it could lead to issues. Those who reported a high degree of job autonomy but a lack of emotional stability were found to be more likely to suffer from strain.
Despite the common assumption that those with lower emotional resilience would have difficulty functioning within a high-pressure work environment, research conducted by Baylor University has shown the opposite to be true. Their findings suggest that individuals who scored low in both measures of emotional stability and independence were more likely to be adversely affected by stress. These results demonstrate that even if one values their independence highly, they can still find working from home to be a tense and challenging experience if they struggle to manage difficult situations when they arise.
Advice for Supervising Distributed Groups
If you are responsible for a remote team, or are looking for advice on how to manage one, it is essential to carry out regular performance reviews of your staff. As Perry explains, someone who struggles to cope with stress in the workplace is unlikely to be able to do so when working remotely either. If an individual has difficulty dealing with the demands and pressures of work, they may not have the capability to successfully manage the responsibilities and stresses of remote working.
Whilst individuals who are self-motivated and emotionally resilient are ideally suited to remote working, they may not always be easy to source. Consequently, the study group has recommended that further resources and assistance be made available to help employees build trusting relationships with their colleagues and stay productive in their roles. Managers should also look to prepare their team for remote working by providing adequate training, setting out clear procedures and performance objectives, and ensuring regular, virtual communication.
When determining the best approach to providing flexible working arrangements for employees, businesses should take into consideration the personalities and character traits of their staff. Managers should carefully evaluate the individual traits of each employee before granting them the freedom to work from home. When making a recruitment decision, it is important to consider a wide variety of factors, such as employee personality and character. If your business is looking for new employees, it is important to make contact with potential candidates in order to ensure the recruitment process is successful.