Job Satisfaction and Work-Life Balance: Differences between Homework and Work at the Workplace of the Company

35 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2020

See all articles by Lutz Bellmann

Lutz Bellmann

Institute for Employment Research (IAB); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Olaf Hübler

University of Hannover; IZA Institute of Labor Economics


Working remotely can complement and sometimes completely substitute conventional work at the workplace of the company. Until the COVID-19 crisis the share of remote workers was relatively low and empirical investigations show inconsistent results. The recent work has highlighted a dramatic shift toward working from home The objective of this contribution is to empirically analyze the relationship between working remotely and job satisfaction on the one hand, as well as between working remotely and work-life balance on the other hand, based on three waves of the German Linked Personnel Panel.Our control variables are personality traits, skills, employment and job characteristics. We present average effects and demonstrate under which conditions remote work is advantageous for employees. Work-life imbalance may be induced by job-related causes. A private life can reduce work-life balance under specific conditions, namely, if remote work takes place outside of contracted working hours and during the first phase of remote work. On average, remote work has no significant impact on work-life balance, which is conditioned by private interests.However, the termination of remote work causes a clear imbalance. In contrast, the introduction of remote work increases job satisfaction, although only temporarily. When we compare employees working from home with those who want to work at home, we find that the former are happier. If we consider remote workers only, our results reveal that job satisfaction is higher, and work-life balance is not worse under a strict contractual agreement than under a nonbinding commitment.

Keywords: job satisfaction, effects on employees, remote work, telecommuting, work-life balance, COVID-19

JEL Classification: J22, J29, M54, M55

Suggested Citation

Bellmann, Lutz and Hübler, Olaf, Job Satisfaction and Work-Life Balance: Differences between Homework and Work at the Workplace of the Company. Available at SSRN: or

Lutz Bellmann (Contact Author)

Institute for Employment Research (IAB) ( email )

Regensburger Str. 104
Nuremberg, 90478
+49 911 179 3046 (Phone)
+49 911 179 3297 (Fax)

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

Olaf Hübler

University of Hannover ( email )

Institute of Quantitative Economic Research
D-30167 Hannover
+49 511 762 4794 (Phone)
+49 511 762 3923 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

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