New study shows some benefits to telecommuting


Story by Gregory Ferenstein

If you’ve been hoping for permission to telecommute more, a new study could help you convince your boss. The University of Illinois found that telecommuters make more of an effort to help out their coworkers (so-called “corporate citizenship”), and in some cases they can also be more productive.

The study seems to have been inspired by Marissa Mayer’s abrupt scorched earth telecommuting policy in 2013, when she effectively mandated that every Yahoo employee work in the office every day.

“After Yahoo changed its telecommuting policy, this question of, ‘Is telecommuting good for performance?’ came to the fore,” said Professor, Ravi Gajendran, lead author of the study. “At the time, there was a lot of debate about it, but there was very little evidence available. Well, now we have some evidence that says telecommuters are good performers as well as good coworkers on the job.”

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