Working from Home: What is the Effect on Employees’ Effort?

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Kira Rupietta, Michael Beckmann

In: Schmalenbach Business Review 70 (2018), 1, 25-55


This paper investigates how working from home affects employees’ work effort. Employees who have the possibility to work from home have a high autonomy in scheduling and organizing their work and are therefore assumed to have a higher intrinsic motivation. Thus, we expect working from home to positively influence work effort of employees. We introduce a theoretical model that analyzes whether intrinsic motivation influences the impact of working from home on employees’ work effort. To account for the self-selection into working locations, we use an instrumental variable (IV) estimation strategy. Our empirical results indicate that working from home has a positive influence on employees’ work effort. In addition, we show that working from home indeed increases intrinsic motivation and thus employees’ work effort. Moreover, we find that the frequency of working from home also matters. The more frequently employees work from home, the higher the work effort they provide is.

Keywords: Working from home, Job design, Work effort, Intrinsic motivation