Job satisfaction among workers is at its lowest point in 22 years—just 45% of Americans are satisfied with their work, down from 61% in 1987, when the Conference Board conducted its first survey. Workers are dispirited by having fewer raises, more financial responsibility for their healthcare, and uninteresting work. Only 51% find their jobs interesting today, compared to 70% in 1987.
While there’s no research on what’s happened to worker satisfaction among telecommuters lately, they’re likely less satisfied, too, since they are subject to the same business realities. People who work from home probably still have more job satisfaction than their office-bound counterparts, however; they can comfort themselves with “at least I get to work from home.”
But not everyone who can telecommute should do so all the time. Research from the University of Connecticut shows that while a worker’s job satisfaction initially increases, satisfaction “tapers off at higher levels of telecommuting.” Worker autonomy is a factor, too. The researchers found that “if you regularly depend upon others to do your job or have limited job discretion, extensive telecommuting could put your sense of job satisfaction at serious risk.”