Thursday, January 25, 2007

End Your Career. Please.

A recent survey of executives found that 60 percent believe telecommuters are less likely to advance in their careers than people who show up at the office. Oddly enough, almost 50 percent said they enjoyed working flexible hours, and almost 80 percent said that telecommuters were more productive!

Another survey of US Government managers found that only 35 percent of them think telecommuting is supported, despite being mandated by law. The biggest reason why it's not happening? Fear of losing control. From the article:

Fear of not having control over employees' activities was the biggest concern from managers who do not manage teleworkers, while productivity concerns were the largest among managers who do manage teleworkers. Those fears are understandable, Brunson said, but many companies use performance metrics to track teleworker production, and several studies have suggested that teleworkers are more productive than their in-office counterparts.

The rise of telecommuting is inevitable; it is just one of those inherently green technologies like centralized email where eventually the resources used in the traditional office - building them, getting to them, heating them, maintaining them - will be too inefficient for a five day a week commitment. Managers will need to reassess their role in such a situation, forget about control, and get back optimizing the processes they are responsible for - that's why they were hired, right? And if they can't deal with a little telecommuting, how are they going to handle interviewing in virtual reality, where they never even meet the person on the other end?

No comments: