Do WFH policies improve job satisfaction?

Flexible, optional WFH policies tend to make employees happier with their jobs.

  • Most research occurred before pandemic and is cross-sectional. This research shows that the relationship appears to be curvilinear, whereby it increases well-being in small doses but then plateaus (Allen et al, 2015)
  • Furthermore, among those employees who wanted it, being randomly assigned to work from home made them happier with their jobs and less likely to quit (Bloom et al, 2015).
  • This is consistent with experimental evidence showing that employees who were randomly assigned to work from home once a week reported improved work-life balance and overall well-being, especially among women (Angelici and Profeta, 2020).
  • Cross-sectional evidence during the height of the pandemic tells a slightly different story. Employees who only sometimes WFH still experienced a small boost in job satisfaction. But after controlling for many contextual factors, the authors found that employees who always WFH had a higher intention of leaving their job than those who never WFH. This may reflect the idiosyncracies of the pandemic and the associated labor market. Remote work tended to confer benefits only when jobs required less coordination with others or when employees believed they had a "bad boss" (Makridis and Schloetzer, 2022).
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