Work Life Balance

Stressed Out About Work Life Balance? Work From Home

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Worrying about who is going to be home to greet your kids when you’re stuck in the office is enough to make any parent’s stress levels spike. It may seem impossible to balance a full-time career and little ones at home ( especially if you don’t have a contributing partner), but a new study reveals that telecommuters often feel that they achieve better balance with maintaining both their careers and their families when working from home.

Livescience reports that more than 80% of surveyed telecommuters say that they now “maintain better work life balance” after working from home. Forrester research who conducted the survey also reported that telecommuters felt happier with decreased levels of stress, and even felt that they made better dietary choices:

When asked to draw comparisons, telecommuters say their stress levels have dropped 25 percent on average and their overall happiness increased 28 percent since working from home. Seventy-three percent even say they eat healthier when working from home.

Telecommuters also felt that given their lack of commute, they didn’t mind devoting more time and energy to complete certain tasks — and completing them well. They also described themselves as “more loyal” to the company since working from home.

While this study did not factor in mothers specifically, I’m curious as to how gender differences might impact these results when you consider the presence of children in the home. Between two heterosexual parents telecommuting for instance, I wonder if both parents would report a decrease in stress levels and a boost in happiness. Even with both parents in the home, I suspect that the mother would be getting up quite a bit more often to tend to whatever crisis emerges. With work to hand in, her toddler crying, and perhaps even a broken dishwasher, I’m inclined to think that she might in fact report more stress.