People who work remotely are happier, according to a new survey conducted by TinyPulse, an employee engagement firm.
The firm polled 509 U.S. workers who always work remotely about their job satisfaction and compared their responses to those of the roughly 200,000 U.S. employees the firm polls on a monthly basis.
On a scale of 1 to 10, remote workers report an average level of work happiness of 8.1, compared to 7.42 for other employees.
They may rarely see their colleagues and superiors, but remote workers also feel more valued by their employers. On that metric, they have an average score of 7.75, compared to 6.69 for other workers.
The one area in which remote employees come up short, unsurprisingly, is their relationships with colleagues. They rate their co-worker relationships at an average of 7.88, whereas conventional employees rate their ties to officemates 8.47.
The study by TinyPulse suggested strongly that the benefits of allowing employees to work outside of the office outweigh the risks.
Only 27 percent of the remote workers polled said they had experienced a problem due to not being in the same place as fellow employees. And 91 percent said they were more productive in their current arrangement than in an office context.
Another surprising finding: Those who work more days a week are the happiest.
In fact, remote employees who report working seven days a week, but shorter hours, were the most satisfied of all, with an average satisfaction rating of 8.49. The next happiest were those who worked sporadic hours throughout the week, with a rating of 8.12. Those who worked a typical, 9-5 schedule, came in third, at 7.88, just slightly ahead of those who worked consistent but unconventional schedules, such as nights or Sunday-Thursday.
Telecommuting and other flexible work arrangements are all the rage these days, particularly among Silicon Valley firms. Studies have suggested that employers who ease up on attendance and scheduling policies will have happier workers who are just as productive.