Employees who work from home are less likely to get promoted or enjoy other career advances than their in-the-office counterparts, according to a survey of 1,320 employers conducted by the recruiting and placement firm, Korn/Ferry International.
"[M]ost of the executives consider telecommuters to be at least as productive as their desk-bound colleagues, according to the survey. And three-quarters of those bosses also said they'd like a job in which they could regularly telecommute," the Los Angeles Times noted in an article looking at the survey findings.
"The survey results come as many companies are allowing more employees to telecommute, work flexible hours and even share jobs in order to attract and retain talented employees, often women with young children," the Times continued. "The paradoxical findings speak to a 'general fear' that workers who have the boss' ear in the office will get promoted ahead of an off-site colleague who is doing better work, said Michael Distefano, vice president of global marketing at Korn/Ferry. 'It's silly when you think about that."
Companies may also promote office workers over home-based employees because promotions generally involve some new management duties, the Times notes, and managing from home is more complicated than working for someone from home. (To check Korn/Ferry's release on the survey, click here.)
What do you think? Do you hesitate at the notion of promoting a worker who's never in the office, or would you see no roadblock to rewarding a productive worker whom you never see? Do you think that an employee who requests a flexible work arrangement is tacitly agreeing to forego some aspects of career advancement, including raises and promotions? And how do you think your workers would react to the idea to being managed by someone who works at home?
Last updated: Jan 17, 2007
MIKE HOFMAN was previously editor of Inc.com and a deputy editor at Inc. magazine, which he joined in 1996. The site was nominated for a National Magazine Award for Digital Media in 2010, and was named the best business website by Folio Magazine. In 2006, Hofman was part of a team of writers nominated for a Webby Award for best business blog. He lives in New York City. @mikehofman