The Well-being of the Mobile Workforce
This paper interprets some of the key findings from the iPass Mobile Workforce Reports from August 2011 and November 2011 and discusses them in relation to extensive research on employee well-being and remote/flexible working. There are also recommendations for employers and mobile employees for how to avoid the negative impacts on satisfaction and well-being, whilst at the same time getting the most out of flexible, mobile work.
The paper discusses the ‘Bright Side’ of mobile and flexible work, but it also illuminates that there is a ‘Dark Side’ to being able to work, and be contacted ‘anytime, anywhere’. This can have a detrimental effect on employee well-being due to the increased demands, lower control and higher fatigue that employees can experience. These demands and stresses can also have an impact on family relationships and the well-being of one’s partner.
Despite this potential ‘Dark Side’ it is evident that some mobile workers who work long hours do feel they are able to balance work and home, and say they are less stressed and more relaxed as a result of their flexibility. Some research findings in this paper help to shed light on why this might be so.
Overall, though, those working fewer extra hours have lower stress than those working longer hours which might be due to their ability to ‘switch off’ from work and recharge their batteries.