This is the Second-Most Important Job Perk After Health Insurance

Despite all the advice that you may have heard from your parents, siblings or close friends regarding the most desirable job benefits, there is one that will help to improve your health and significantly lower your risk of depression. And it may not be what you think.

When it comes to looking for a new job, whether you are just starting out in the work force, or if you have finally decided to change your career path, the two things that you will automatically look for is the pay rate and your healthcare benefits. All other perks are just icing on the cake.

A recent survey that was conducted by the employee review platform Glassdoor showed that the top-rated benefit among employees was health insurance, with 40 percent of those surveyed rating it their number-one priority when it comes to searching for a new job. It was even more important that their salary.

The second most desirable benefit was paid vacations, earing 37 percent of people’s vote for the most important perk of all. But there is more to a dream job that having a great salary, good health insurance and time off to spend with the family. In fact, there is one employee perk that is more and more potential employees are looking for these days when it comes to finding the ideal position for them. And it is a benefit that could end up having a positive impact on your overall health and well-being.

It is telecommunicating, even part time. A recent study that was led by Rachel Henke, PhD. Of Truven Health Analytics found that having the option of working remotely, even for just a few hours per month, could help to greatly lower your risk of depression.

The new study that was published online in the American Journal of Health Promotion, was aimed to show the influence of telecommunicating on employee health. The new study involved a detailed analysis of employee demographic data as well as medical claims, health risk assessment data and remote connectivity hours of all the employees who were between the ages of 18 and 64. The researchers evaluated the workers who telecommuted up to eight hours per month, along with those with those who had significantly more telecommuting hours-some of which had more than 73 hours per month. The researchers also looked at the results compared to those employees who did not telecommunicate at all.

It turns out that the people who didn’t telecommunicate were found to be at a greater risk of developing obesity, physical inactivity, alcohol abuse and tobacco use than the groups who were able to telecommunicate, even on a part time basis.

Perhaps the most significant finding of this study is the fact that the people who telecommuted just a few hours out of the moth, were less likely to experience depression than those who didn’t telecommunicate at all. This suggest that working remotely for just a few hours each month can have a great impact on maintaining good mental health and well-being, this is possibly because it gives employees a feeling of control and flexibility, and it allows them to spend more time in a less-stressful environment such as in a stuffy office.

The results of the study are important because even though there have been studies that highlight a relationship between telecommuting and increased employee performance, this is the first study of its kind to show a link between telecommuting and better employee health.

So the next time that you are on a job hunt and you want to find an opportunity that will provide you with all the best benefits that there are, you should consider making telecommunicating a top priority. Even if its just for one day a month. And if you’re stuck in a nine-to-five office gig, there are plenty of other strategies that you can try out to de-stress your work day.

  • Get a head start: leave home at least 30 minutes earlier than usual. Studies show that the less rushed you feel in the morning, the less stressed you’ll be for the rest of the day.
  • Bring snacks: grab a spill-proof coffee cup or have a small bag of nonperishable snacks on hand such as protein bars, dried fruit or nuts that will help to keep you from getting hungry and tired while at work.
  • Give yourself some credit: most workers do not take enough time to praise themselves for doing things so well. When you have completed a project, or reached a long-term goal, tell yourself, out loud, what a good job you have done.
  • Manage Your Inbox: With about 5.5 trillion emails sent each year, it’s no wonder your inbox is overflowing. To keep from stressing out, cut down the amount of time you spend reading and sending emails. Don’t waste a message acknowledging receipt of an email, and put responses in the subject when possible so you don’t have to compose a new message. Finally, use the “rule of three”: if you’ve gone back and forth on a topic three times and you’re still confused or have questions, pick up the phone.