3 On Your Side

Are remote workers happier?

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

It’s Monday morning, but you’re still in your pajamas. It’s OK, though, you’re working from home. All the coffee, none of the commute.

It’s the new normal for a growing number of Americans, with more than ever before choosing to do some or all of their work from home. So, is it working out for these work from home warriors?

It is for Kristin Harrington. She works hard as a full-time employee and a full-time mom, but she does it all without getting in the car.

“I can flex my own hours. And as long as I’m able to get my work done then everything is fine,” she says.

Telecommuting is exploding with nearly a quarter of employees now doing some or all of their work from home.

Maura Thomas, author of “Work Without Walls” says it’s easy to see why.

“No commute. You save all that frustration,” she says. “Wardrobe expenses, car expenses. Fewer sick days because you’re not exposed to airborne illnesses.”

In fact, a recent study found a cultural shift in which the idea of “work” is being detached from the idea of a workplace. But while the study found this has led to significantly higher levels of job satisfaction among remote workers, it can also come with a cost: the inability to clock out when the workday is done.

In fact, the study found 39 percent of remote workers routinely work extra time, compared to only 24 percent of office workers.

“There’s a barrage all day long of email and voicemail and instant message and text messages,” says Thomas. “It’s difficult to just turn that off.”

But Thomas says turning off is key to long-term success. She says you need to allow for things like exercise, sleep and family.

Harrington says she works hard, but always makes time for her family, by clocking out at 5.

“I have the best of both worlds,” she says. “I get to be a mom and I get to generate full-time income.”

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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

Click to learn more about Gary.

Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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