The financial crisis has led companies and employers to adopt a number of new strategies to save themselves and their employees money, such as telecommuting, freelance and contract workers.

A recent article for the blog Knowledge@Wharton further attests that outsourced workers may actually be more focused on their tasks and work longer hours than if they were the office.

"It becomes more salient to them if they're not working," says Wharton School of Business management professor Matthew Bidwell. "If they take off an afternoon to do something fun, it is much easier for them to put a dollar figure on how much that costs."

However, outsourced workers will need to take the time to develop work-life boundaries, which is where employers and HR departments can help. Employees who are working in relative isolation from a company need to feel there is meaning behind the work they do, the blog explains. Companies can help to create "a larger narrative of meaning behind their work," helping to keep motivation high, even in periods of extreme stress.

Companies should be careful not to overlook any of their employees. As the economy begins to gain ground, workers who don't feel appreciated by their employers are bound to begin looking elsewhere.

A recent survey from MetLife reported that employees who are very satisfied with their benefits are likely to be three times as loyal as those who aren't. 

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