In other words, working remotely appears to be connected with working harder and being happy with your job.
Anderson and Kelliher suggest that this phenomenon is based on an employee's willingness to maintain equilibrium between that worker and his or her employer. Since the employer has added a new dimension that benefits the employee -- in this case, the freedom of a flexible schedule -- the worker is interested in keeping an equal balance and adjusts the scales by working harder in return.
"We argue that flexible workers 'repay' the choice opened up to them, by means of extending a greater effort," Kelliher told Discovery News.
This argument is based on social exchange theory, a psychological and sociological concept asserting that payment between individuals can take place voluntarily and under informal arrangements.
Russell Cropanzano, a professor at the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona, describes the basis for social exchange as the Golden Rule.
"In its simplest form, (the Golden Rule) argues that humans are motivated, in part, by a norm of reciprocity," he said. "You do onto others as they have done unto you."