Author(s), Title and Publication
Smith, S. A., Patmos, A., & Pitts, M. J. (2018). Communicating and teleworking: A study of communication channel satisfaction, personality, and job satisfaction for teleworking employees. International Journal of Business Communication, 55(1), 44-68. DOI: 10.1177/2329488415589101

Although personality factors, such as the Big Five (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism), offer great insight into workplace behaviors, a clear understanding of why some teleworkers experience greater levels of job satisfaction than others is missing in current research. Given this gap, the authors of this study explored how the Big Five personality traits and the communication channel satisfaction of e-mail, instant messaging, phone, and video communication influence the job satisfaction of teleworkers. Researchers collected data through an online survey and sampled 384 U.S. teleworkers.

The findings demonstrated that a positive relationship between conscientiousness, extraversion, openness, and agreeableness with job satisfaction is present among teleworkers. A significant relationship was not present between neuroticism and job satisfaction. Additionally, significant results were found between communication channel satisfaction of e-mail, video technologies, instant messaging, and phone communications and job satisfaction, such that when people are satisfied with these communication channels, they will experience greater levels of job satisfaction. These results indicate that organizations should make available and encourage a wide variety of communication channels for communication. The authors also found that a significant relationship did not exist between extraversion, conscientiousness, or neuroticism and job satisfaction when moderated by communication channels. This is not to say that people high in extraversion, conscientiousness, or neuroticism are dissatisfied with their communication channels, but only that communication channels do not influence the amount of job satisfaction these employees experience. Significant results were found for openness and video and phone communication channel satisfaction, demonstrating that people higher in openness are not only satisfied with video and phone communication channels but also that communication channel satisfaction positively influences levels of job satisfaction. Finally, there are significant moderating relationships present between agreeableness and phone communication, as well as agreeableness and video communication.

Implications for Practice
Organizations should (1) understand the personality composition of their employees in order to optimize the job satisfaction of teleworking employees, (2) make available a wide array of communication channels to teleworkers, and (3) recognize that while the use of e-mail communication is undoubtedly efficient, other channels such as instant messaging function similarly.

Location of Article
This article is available online at: (abstract free, purchase full article)

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Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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