Researchers have found that a flexible workplace environment has positive effects on the health and well-being of the employees. This environment of workplace also increases the amount and quality of sleep of workers.
This research has been done by Professors Erin Kelly, Phyllis Moen and colleagues from University of Minnesota and published in the December issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.
“Our study shows that moving from viewing time at the office as a sign of productivity, to emphasizing actual results can create a work environment that fosters healthy behavior and well-being,” says Moen. “This has important policy implications, suggesting that initiatives creating broad access to time flexibility encourage employees to take better care of themselves.”
Researchers collected longitudinal data from 608 employees of white-collar organization before and after a flexible workplace scheme – referred to as Results only Work Environment (ROWE) – was implemented. They found health promoting behaviors among them. In ROWE, employees were permitted to work according to their ease. They were given an option to change their work routinely on individual needs without seeking (repeated) permission from a manager or senior.
Researchers found an extra hour (52 minutes) of sleep for employees in ROWE. Moreover, the workers were more likely to go to doctor in case of health related issue. Workers also managed to work on family related issues leading to better sleep and more energy.
Phyllis Moen, Erin L. Kelly, Eric Tranby, Qinlei Huang, (2011). Changing Work, Changing Health Can Real Work-Time Flexibility Promote Health Behaviors and Well-Being? Journal of Health and Social Behavior, doi: 10.1177/0022146511418979