This study investigates mechanisms underlying the influence of telework on labor productivity in Japan. First, this study finds that appropriate telework hours increase labor productivity, but when telework hours are too long, telework decreases labor productivity. Second, telework increases life satisfaction, and life satisfaction improves labor productivity. However, telework increases the stress of balancing work and domestic chores, contrary to Japanese governmental expectations, and the stress decreases life satisfaction. The stress, fortunately, does not directly reduce labor productivity. Although telework increases happiness and work satisfaction, these factors do not influence labor productivity. Third, this study clarifies that telework is more efficient for improving labor productivity if workers commute more than 1 h or commute by trains or buses that are usually very crowded during rush hours in Japan. Finally, the effect of telework for workers who have a greater number of potential trivial duties is insignificantly larger. Supervisors and colleagues often ask others to perform trivial, extra tasks without regard for schedules. Telework may help workers avoid such trivial duties and increase labor productivity. However, the importance of trivial duties is also demonstrated in this study.
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