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Sep 30, 2013 09:07 AM EDT

‘Work/Life Balance Can Be Achieved Through Telecommuting,’ Alabama Prof

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'Work from home' option benefits the environment, reduces transportation costs and lengthy commutes, plus allows a person to be comfortable, pajamas for example, according to researcher Scott Boyar of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

"While there can be distractions at home like kids, animals, TV and chores, there's often flexibility to transition among various roles - particularly family - if boundaries can be set with some self-discipline," Boyar said in a press release. "If there is ability to adjust your schedule around kids, you could begin your work at 6 a.m. while they sleep. Break to get them to school, then go back to working."

Working from home can be an excellent option for professionals looking to balance their time spent on family and work. If arranged properly, work can be completed more efficiently with fewer interruptions when compared to an office environment.

"The success of an employee working from home depends on the person, on the job and on the training the organization provides to do that role remotely," Boyar said. "An organization has a lot of responsibility when letting workers go virtual, but the employee carries a lot of it too. There are questions they should ask themselves."

- Does it fit my personality and preference for integrating work into my family environment?

- Can I structure my time and stay motivated to work throughout the day?

- Will I fight the temptation to want to skip workdays altogether?

Boyar said that most of the professionals like to balance their work and professional life throughout the week.

"Organizations should not shy away from alternative work arrangement such as telecommuting or flex time, because it gives employees with other responsibilities the opportunity to schedule necessary needs around their work," Boyar said. "This option can lead to a much happier employee, which is always good for a company."

However, Boyar said that telecommuting also has negative consequences. It can drastically reduce social interaction between colleagues, which is known to be a catalyst for better career opportunities.

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