Ever wonder how your telecommuting colleagues really live? Turns out, many of them actually do work in their pajamas. They also tend to love their work-life balance – to the point where they’d take a pay cut to maintain the status quo. This is a “must read” for both remote workers and for their office-bound managers.
Remote workers fall into one or more of these classifications:
We concentrated on the have our own survey results from LinkedIn. Some of our questions are similar to those asked on surveys by CIO Insight and Staples, but some are different. We used several LinkedIn Groups involved with EDI, Supply Chain, IT related and a “neutral” Group (university alumni). The questions (polls) we asked were:
We have some fascinating facts from separate surveys by CIO Insight Magazine and Staples (office supplier who sells furniture). CIO Insight survey addresses out of office employees in general while the Staples survey is more focused on those who work from the home (and, of course, concerned with their office furniture, which most employers ignore with their remote workers). The top item on the wish list for a home office is a more comfortable chair!
From the CIO survey:
From the Staples survey:
Telecommuters say their stress levels have dropped 25 percent on average since working from home.
Seventy-three percent even say they eat healthier when working from home.
76 percent of telecommuters are more willing to put in extra time on work and say they are more loyal to their company since telecommuting.
It is a “culture change” for both the worker and the manager. Best IT Practices for the Mobile Workplace which the manager should follow are:
Managers have to move to management by objectives as opposed to the traditional management by observation / management by walking around. The terms telecommuting and telework were coined by Jack Nilles in 1973. The term "management by objectives" was first popularized by Peter Drucker in his 1954 book 'The Practice of Management'
Important to our discussions is the “Virtual Team”: A Virtual Team is a group of individuals who work across time, space, and organizational boundaries with links strengthened by webs of communication technology. They have complementary skills and are committed to a common purpose, have inter-dependent performance goals, and share an approach to work for which they hold themselves mutually accountable. Read about how virtual teams can outperform traditional teams.
While we “thought” most of our respondents were telecommuters, we interviewed a “home worker” and a “road warrior” (who works from home when not on assignment). Their feelings mirror the “telecommuter”.
An excellent resource for both the telecommuter and the manager is telecommuter.com You’re a business looking to implement a telecommuter program or simply to allow a few employees to work from home, there are many things you need to consider: Do you have the right infrastructure? Do your employees have the tools to be productive? Are your business's information assets and applications safe? Telecommuter.com is a one-stop resource for your business's telecommuting program, giving you essential information on everything from equipment to security.
Don't forget the motto of many telecommuters: "work is something you do, not something you travel to."