Making the Case for Telework

Perhaps you’ve been longing to work from home a few days each week. After all, you’d probably be a lot happier if you could just avoid the traffic, wear shorts and flip flops and miss a few of those impromptu team meetings. So what’s stopping you? Probably your boss. More specifically, his fears about the pitfalls of telecommuting that persist in Corporate America.

Kate Lister, principal researcher at Telework Research Network and author of Undress for Success-The Naked Truth About Making Money at Home, put together a presentation covering the 10 myths about virtual work, which was edited and published by eWeek.

If you want to raise the issue with your boss, you’ll need these facts and rebuttal arguments in your arsenal.

Myth: Virtual Work Will Reduce Control and Productivity

Reality: A report commissioned by City & Guilds and the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) showed that 75 percent of managers believe remote workers are more productive.

Myth: Virtual Work Will Increase Security Risks

Reality: According to a 2007 report by the Telework Exchange, 94 percent of federal information security officers say teleworkers in an official program are not a data security concern.

Myth: Virtual Work Will Increase Costs

Reality: Half-time virtual work can save U.S. businesses over $10,000 per employee, according to the Telework Research Network. The United States Office of Management and Budget showed the five-year cost of one day a week telework among eligible employees would cost $30 million.

Myth: Virtual Work Will Negatively Impact Morale/Company Spirit

Reality: According to BLR-a compensation and compliance services vendor-64 percent of those with telework programs say it has improved morale. The national average for home-based work is 2.4 days a week.

Myth: Virtual Work Will Increase Technology Support Problems

Reality: Tech support rarely involves face-to-face fixes. Remote fix technology is easy and inexpensive.

Myth: Virtual Work Is Harder to Manage and Oversee

Reality: Results-based management, a key to virtual work success, frees both managers and employees from micromanagement.

Myth: Virtual Work Is Only Possible for a Small Percentage of Workers

Reality: IDC’s "Worldwide Mobile Worker Population 2009-2013 Forecast" predicts that more than three quarters of the workforce will be mobile by 2013.

Myth: Virtual Work Will Inhibit Career Advancement

Reality: A Sloan Center on Aging study showed that more than 75 percent of workers felt flexibility contributed to their success as an employee.

Myth: Virtual Work Will Impede Communications

Reality: Technology like instant chat, e-mail and even the telephone play a larger and larger role in keeping colleagues connected.

Myth: Virtual Work Will Require Change

Reality: More than 80 percent of Fortune’s "100 Best Companies to Work For (2010)" allow employees to work from home at least 20 percent of the time.

— Leslie Stevens-Huffman
 

Comments

6 Responses to “Making the Case for Telework”

October 28, 2010 at 12:06 am, Steve said:

More and more people should be doing this and it mystifies me why they don’t. With commutes in most cities becoming too ridiculous to contemplate anymore, this can be such a huge savings to so many companies. I have been doing this for close to 10 yrs now, and have worked all over the world. As long as you have internet, you can do this easily, and its no different from being there. Think about it, most communication in any office is via phone, im, and email, so you are doing this already other than having to sit in meetings. Performance based is going to be the way of the future so learn to embrace it as soon as possible. We will all compete against each other including people in other countries. I think the biggest reason against this, is usually people’s laziness towards working in general, and bosses who just won’t come to the present and embrace the technology.

Reply

October 28, 2010 at 12:06 am, Steve said:

More and more people should be doing this and it mystifies me why they don’t. With commutes in most cities becoming too ridiculous to contemplate anymore, this can be such a huge savings to so many companies. I have been doing this for close to 10 yrs now, and have worked all over the world. As long as you have internet, you can do this easily, and its no different from being there. Think about it, most communication in any office is via phone, im, and email, so you are doing this already other than having to sit in meetings. Performance based is going to be the way of the future so learn to embrace it as soon as possible. We will all compete against each other including people in other countries. I think the biggest reason against this, is usually people’s laziness towards working in general, and bosses who just won’t come to the present and embrace the technology.

Reply

October 28, 2010 at 8:58 am, Ronnie Smith said:

Morale and company spirit is greatly increased for the teleworker. The ones not doing it may become jealous, angry and even negative. There is a concern that an employee is getting away with something that is not available to others. Even when the telework option is applicable to others, until they get approval themselves, they can be a problem. Many of these people are too lazy or afraid to set up telework themselves. They can have a lot of influence on older managers who are not sure about telework due the amount of trust that is required.

Reply

October 28, 2010 at 8:58 am, Ronnie Smith said:

Morale and company spirit is greatly increased for the teleworker. The ones not doing it may become jealous, angry and even negative. There is a concern that an employee is getting away with something that is not available to others. Even when the telework option is applicable to others, until they get approval themselves, they can be a problem. Many of these people are too lazy or afraid to set up telework themselves. They can have a lot of influence on older managers who are not sure about telework due the amount of trust that is required.

Reply

October 29, 2010 at 7:25 am, Beth Noonan Hill said:

I worked for a Fotune 100 company for many year 8 of which was telecommuting position we they got more of me than a 10 hour job as I was in a global position and needed to be available to Europe, Asia/Pacific, and the West Coast Corporate HQ. I am located on the East Coast so my hours would be open, but still liked the flexibility and the no traffic. I am however very open to traveling out of state/country (US) for business meeting etc., which was the norm for me before.

I have been looking for a position that may require me to take a 30-40% cut in pay with the economy as I was making 90K plus after many professional years.

How do I avoid the scams (many of them and I do my research well.) Where do I start? Any links? Real one please.

Thanks,

Beth Noonan Hill

Reply

October 29, 2010 at 7:25 am, Beth Noonan Hill said:

I worked for a Fotune 100 company for many year 8 of which was telecommuting position we they got more of me than a 10 hour job as I was in a global position and needed to be available to Europe, Asia/Pacific, and the West Coast Corporate HQ. I am located on the East Coast so my hours would be open, but still liked the flexibility and the no traffic. I am however very open to traveling out of state/country (US) for business meeting etc., which was the norm for me before.

I have been looking for a position that may require me to take a 30-40% cut in pay with the economy as I was making 90K plus after many professional years.

How do I avoid the scams (many of them and I do my research well.) Where do I start? Any links? Real one please.

Thanks,

Beth Noonan Hill

Reply

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