This webpage is reserved for the State of Arizona employees (non-university) in Maricopa County.



State of Arizona Telework Program

Office of Travel Reduction Programs

100 N. 15th Avenue, Suite 431

Phoenix, Arizona  85007

(602) 542-7433


Common Myths & Truths About Telework


WorldatWork Fact Sheet:


WorldatWork, 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.


MYTH: A typical teleworker is a work-from-home mom.

TRUTH: 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)


MYTH: Telework is a ploy used mostly by parents to get childcare on the cheap.

TRUTH: 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)


MYTH: People who telework are slackers.

TRUTH: 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.”


MYTH: Negotiating and managing individual telework arrangements takes too much of a manager’s time and effort.

TRUTH: 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, Harvard Business Review)


MYTH: For telework to work smoothly, employers simply need a written agreement signed by both the employee and his/her manager; training is optional.

TRUTH: 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).


MYTH: 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).

TRUTH: In general, many companies (40%) pay employees based on his/her assigned work location, even if his/her work generally isn't performed there. (WorldatWork)


MYTH: Speed and quality are often sacrificed when teleworking.

TRUTH: 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)


MYTH: Telework negatively impacts employee morale or company spirit.

TRUTH: A 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)


MYTH: Teleworking increases an organization’s security risk.

TRUTH: A 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 Security)

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