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