a nonprofit human resources association, has been studying telework
trends since 2001. This fact sheet sets the record straight on what
is actually happening in the business world with regard to telework.
typical teleworker is a work-from-home mom.
Surprise! Today’s teleworkers are most often 40-year-old
professional males with college degrees. (Telework
2011: A WorldatWork Special Report).
Both men and women seek workplace flexibility options to help
them manage their work and personal/family challenges. (Men
and Work-Life Integration: A Global Study, WorldatWork
and WFD Consulting)
is a ploy used mostly by parents to get childcare on the cheap.
Teleworkers who happen to be parents are required to arrange and pay
for child care during their working hours regardless of their work
location. Staying home to provide primary childcare is never an
acceptable reason to approve a telework arrangement. (Alliance
for Work-Life Progress)
who telework are slackers.
Telework requires above average organizational and communication
skills and is actually more valued by top performers. Progressive
organizations have learned over time that you need not offer
telework to everyone – but primarily to key talent that you can’t
afford to lose who are in positions that can be done remotely.
“Telework is a highly effective tool for organizations who need to
retain top talent,” said Rose Stanley, WLCP, work-life practice
leader for WorldatWork. “A common situation involves a valued
employee who must relocate, as the result of a spouse accepting
employment in another area, an aging parent demanding care and
attention, or any number of things.”
Negotiating and managing individual telework arrangements takes
too much of a manager’s time and effort.
Granting a slew of individual accommodations is not how telework is
done in today’s workplace. Flexibility is best practiced as a team
sport, since most work today is done in work groups, many of which
form and reform in response to different projects. Nothing lasts
forever, including telework arrangements. Properly constituted teams
establish goals, enforce compliance, handle under-performance and
take care of every member’s life events over the course of a project
or a career. Applying flexibility as a business strategy requires
training. (Leslie A. Perlow,
telework to work smoothly, employers simply need a written agreement
signed by both the employee and his/her manager; training is
Telework success depends on leaders who manage by objectives, not by
observation, and this critical skill needs to be taught and learned.
Only 21% of employers train managers on how to implement and support
flexible work arrangements, and only 17% train workers on how to be
successful as an employee with a flexible work arrangement. (Telework
2011: A WorldatWork Special Report).
Telework can cost the company money, especially if the teleworker
relocates to a city with higher competitive salary levels (also
known as a geographic differential).
general, many companies (40%) pay employees based on his/her
assigned work location, even if his/her work generally isn't
performed there. (WorldatWork)
and quality are often sacrificed when teleworking.
Businesses lose $600 billion a year in workplace distractions. More
than two-thirds of employers report increased productivity among
their teleworkers. (Workshifting
Benefits: The Bottom Line, The Telework Research Network)
negatively impacts employee morale or company spirit.
majority of surveyed employers say flexibility programs have a
positive or extremely positive effect on employee engagement (72%),
employee motivation (71%) and employee satisfaction (82%). (WorldatWork
Survey on Workplace Flexibility, 2011)
Teleworking increases an organization’s security risk.
vast majority (94 percent) of CIOs said they do not think official
telework programs, which often require some employee and manager
training, pose a data security threat. (Remote
Control – Federal CISOs Dish on Mobility, Telework, and Data