IT Employment

Poll Results: Does your company understand the benefits of remote work programs?

How did your peers answer this question: Does your company understand the benefits of remote work programs?

After reading the results of a Microsoft Telework survey and listening to a week of stories on National Public Radio, I asked readers of the Microsoft Windows Blog this poll question: Does your company understand the benefits of remote work programs?

Coming from a work environment where flexible work hours have always been the policy, I was slightly surprised by the responses.

Apparently, there are still numerous employers who do not understand the benefits of flexible work policies and remote work programs. With the current state of technology, and especially when dealing with knowledgeable workers, I was thinking remote work and telecommuting were common practice. Are we trending toward more remote work programs at least?

Results

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

13 comments
TuneUp Utilities
TuneUp Utilities

It?s great that this survey was conducted. Many companies still believe in an office environment where everybody needs to be watched and controlled. This is an old-fashion approach, which will definitely disappear in the coming generation. Managers already get up to date with project teams around the world, and a lot of internet companies don?t even have an office. Still I?m curious how this new office mentality is going to turn out.

GizmoGirl
GizmoGirl

I work remotely as a Programmer Analyst, & my company realizes the benefits both financially & "morale-wise" (for lack of a better term). My work day starts when I roll out of bed & log in...8 am sharp everyday (sometimes earlier, if there is something pressing), ending typically 5-7pm every night. Contrast this to when I commuted the 1.5+ hrs one day everyday: Got to work at 8 (1.5 hrs already wasted), so exhausted from the commute idiots...let's get some coffee & visit with the guys :) ....on-line @ 9am (if lucky), out the door @ 4:45pm sharp (gotta beat the commuter traffic ya know). My cube at work costs the company 8K/yr, my internet access at home, much less (~384/yr). As a result, I'm sharper, happier, have more up-time, & am WAYYYY more productive. Plus my kids & dogs actually recognize me when I walk through the door. If a client needs me after the magical 5pm hr., what the heck, I am here anyway, so I can easily accommodate. The company I work for is huge, & has many remote workers. It's my opinion they know what they are doing. Any company that doesn't embrace remote workers need s to sit back & realize the benefits & what a difference it can make in an employee's performance. There's a lot to be said for remote workers. Sure, there are some who may not be suited for it, but I guarantee you, those that aren't are quickly weeded out & replaced with very appreciative, MOTIVATED ones. My company cares about quality results & that the projects are successfully completed. Being a remote worker makes this more plausible! It just makes sense when the technology permits.

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

is my boss is very intelligent. But all he sees with this is the problems he will have with it. I think it is a "gut" reaction, if he can't see you, you aren't working. His response is, "Our job is unique and requires we be on site". Which is true for a lot of it. We can't even get flexible schedules like 9/80 or 4/10s out of him which would work.

jmbrasfield
jmbrasfield

Your "gut" reaction, if he can't see you, you aren't working, is exactly correct. If you are not in a place where you can be directly MONITORED (the office cube), then management loses it most powerful tool (weapon) to control it's employees, and after all it is that control that management feeds on. If I can do my work from home with minimal supervision, what use is my manager? Their position then becomes redundant and we can't have that, now can we.

theladycoder
theladycoder

You must either be management or one who would not be able to work remotely. If a manager must "control" its employees then he/she must not be an effective manager. Perhaps if that manager has nothing else to do but "control" people means that he/she does not have enough to do.

oldbaritone
oldbaritone

the pie chart by relevance, not just percentage, and it would be easy to see that 61% said "No" in either form, and 24% said "Yes, but change is slow" So 85% of the answers amount to "No" or "Not really" Sad. But I work in a "No" so I know what it's like.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Apparently, there are still numerous employers who still not understand the benefits of flexible work policies and remote work programs. Are we trending toward more remote work programs at least?

theladycoder
theladycoder

I have tried for almost 4 years here, but it is a no go. I use to work remotely for years and when I came here it was a bit of an adjustment to be on site everyday. For me, I accomplished alot more working remotely than I do being in the office where there are more interruptions.

dazzlin_dazz
dazzlin_dazz

I work as a software tester for a company who writes software for the internet. I live nearly 200 miles from my office and I am not allowed to work from home. My boss lives about 20 minutes away and often works from home. I spend ?50 a week in fuel and 7 hours commuting back and forth each week, plus I rent a small room off a friend so I have somewhere to stay during the week for ?200 per month. By allowing me to work from home, I would save at least ?2800 a year, plus the wear and tear on my car and god only knows what environmental damage. But that privilege is reserved only for managers.

GizmoGirl
GizmoGirl

More than speaks for itself. Being an OINK (One Income Numerous Kids), the fact that I save so much $$ not commuting ALONE makes me a much better performing & devoted employee. Why can't some companies see this? My employer gets way more out of my being able to work from home than if I were forced to drive some obscene commute to get to a distracting place (cube, office, whatever) when I could just as easily perform it (& better) from home... Not only do I get my internet reimbursed, but I save at a ton in gas & auto maintenace, clothing, food, etc. (I really don't even need a car anymore). Seems like a no-brainer to me... Home = nose to the grind-stone, commute to work = socializing ever chance I get (picture Prairie Dog here)... And my Manager has no problem with managing remote workers. It's really quite simple, don't record your time & do the few things administrative things they ask of you, ...performance drops when clients are dependent upon you, there's the door... Most of us in this profession fear being shown the door. Well, at least I do.

Sagax-
Sagax-

David Gewirtz has pulled together an interesting piece. See it here: here) Americans consume 60.5 billion gallons of gasoline (the capacity of 1,298 Exxon Valdez tankers, fully loaded) each year to commute. And there are more startling statistics.

jck
jck

Evidently (which this kinda ties into the HR article elsewhere), employers have a "dilemma": Make employees happy by letting them work from home and save the company utility monies, facilities expenses, etc. or Make the insurance company happy that insures you for workplace liability. As it stands right now, I could work from home, save my employer utilities expenses, etc. I would be more than happy to use my data connection at the house to remote in and do my job function. It would save me about $40-50 in gas per week. However, the workplace liability insurer does not allow that because the employer can not dictate safety parameters within the worker's place of residence. That is: If you're working from home and you drop the cereal bowl in the floor then cut your foot on it...is it the employer's liability? If you do that in your office, is it? It's pretty pathetic, if you ask me. It's a win-win for me and my employer, but an insurance corp. keeps more efficient work from being done in the workplace.

bclomptwihm
bclomptwihm

It's easy to blame the Insurance Companies but they are driven by lawsuits. The lawyers are the vilians here, as they are everywhere they go.

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