Telework Challenges

Telework Challenges

Technology and a global marketplace have made telework more common. But there are some real challenges associated, not the least of which are co-worker attitudes.

Two surveys were conducted recently by OfficeTeam, a staffing service specializing in the placement of highly skilled administrative professionals. The first survey was based on telephone interviews with 492 workers 18 years of age or older and employed in an office environment. The second survey was based on telephone interviews with 150 senior executives from the largest companies in the United States.

Here’s the attitude you’re up against if you want to work from home: 48% of workers polled said their jobs would be more difficult if they did not work in the same office as their supervisors. Of this group, 27% felt it would be much more difficult. Similarly, 58% of managers surveyed said it is important that all staff members work in the same location.

Employees were asked, “In your opinion, would it make your job easier or more difficult if you reported to a manager who didn’t work in the same location as you?” Their responses:

Much more difficult – 27%
Somewhat more difficult – 21%
Neither easier nor more difficult – 26%
Somewhat easier – 13%
Much easier – 8%
Don’t know – 5%

Executives were asked, “How important is it for all of the members of your department to work from the same location?” Their responses:

Very important – 13%
Somewhat important – 45%
Somewhat unimportant – 29%
Not important – 12%

So if you telecommute you face some communication challenges, and you’ll have to go the extra mile to make sure you keep the lines of communication open to ensure that the folks who think you make their job harder by not being under the same roof are pleasantly surprised.



  1. Wow, of the 642 questioned, none work from home. I am a manager of a tech support team and 9 of the 10 employees are remote. I am remote as well. Instant messaging and email keep us linked. We all do not need to be in the same building to function. If a manager needs his team together to watch over them, then there are other issues that need to be addressed. Our SR VP is even remote. We do not have office politics, or noise. Working remotely is truly a better environment in our line of work.

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