I’ll never forgot when I dropped by my friend Fred’s house to find him working in his bathrobe and slippers. It was 4pm on a Thursday! He went on to explain that he was now working from home around 75% of the time. At first, I figured the kid had been fired and was trying to save himself some shame. Then my mind started to race: maybe he had a health issue. Yeah, that’s it. Freddy was going mental!
In reality, the 30-year-old airline employee had just joined the estimated 10 million (perfectly healthy and gainfully employed!) folks who are spending a large chunk of their careers telecommuting.
Here are some results from an interesting study recently released by Futurestep, an online executive recruiting service for management professionals:
– 61% of 1,300 executives believe telecommuters are less likely to advance their careers compared with those who haul ass into the office.
– 80% of these executives say telecommuters are equally or more productive than their cube-dwelling counterparts.
– 77% percent say they would consider a telecommuting job.
I’m all for working from home. And yes, I recognize the fact that more CAN get accomplished when employees are given flexible working options. HOWEVER, I can’t even imagine how I would react if some jabroni sitting at home in his underwear got a promotion over me. Especially, if he got an office and didn’t use it!
My question to you loyal readers is this: should promotions be based purely on productivity?
Best Buy seems to be following down that path with their ROWE initiative, "Results-Only Work Environment." It’s a work life with NO meetings and NO schedules. And according to the company, and this BusinessWeek article, it’s working.
I hate people who work for the sake of working and think the employee who logs the most hours wins. But there has to be some middle ground, no?