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Research Links Work From Home Success to Work/Life Boundaries

By Cornell Chronicle

January 30, 2023

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Remote jobs can help workers craft more satisfying lives, with higher psychological well-being and work engagement, but only if that work occurs during regular work hours, researchers found.

Research by a team including Duanyi Yang, assistant professor of labor relations, law, and history at Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations, yielded mixed findings on the impact of working from home on worker well-being and job attitudes.

In "Working from Home and Worker Wellbeing: New Evidence from Germany," forthcoming in the ILR Review, Yang and her co-authors focus on the distinction between working from home during regular work hours and working from home outside of those hours.

Using a survey of 7,857 employees within 814 German establishments, their research found that working outside regular hours is associated with lower psychological well-being, higher turnover intentions, and higher conflict between work and family. By contrast, working from home during regular hours brings greater engagement, and it is not associated with higher work-family conflict, or turnover.

Additionally, they found that working from home outside of regular hours has more negative effects for women's well-being and work-to-family conflict.

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