There are tons of micromanagers out there, making sure employees come in at 8:30, leave at 5 and holding workers to a 30-minute lunch break – on the nose. But what would happen if micromanagement became extinct?
According to University of Minnesota researchers, employees’ health would improve significantly.
The researchers suggest creating a more flexible work environment isn’t just a morale booster, it’s a way to improve the health and productivity of your workforce.
Researchers analyzed data during a flexible workplace initiative that involved 608 employees of a white-collar organization — the initiative was launched at Best Buy’s headquarters in Richfield, MN — to see the impact flextime policies have on employees.
The initiative, called Results Only Work Environment (ROWE), asked managers to stop worrying about the time their employees spent in the office and instead focus solely on the business results employees achieved.
Employees were allowed to set their own schedule to meet their individual needs and work responsibilities without having to notify — or seek permission from — management.
Changes in the behaviors of employees who participated in ROWE were then measured against the behaviors of those who didn’t participate.
Participants were found to:
- get an average of 52 more minutes of sleep on average on work nights
- benefit from improved sleep quality and energy
- have better self-reported health
- feel less obligated to work when sick
- go to a doctor when sick (even when busy at work)
- have an increased sense of control of their schedule and reduced work-family conflict, and
- suffer from less emotional exhaustion and psychological distress.
Info: The study was featured in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.