Published March 30, 2012
Employees and employers are in agreement about working from home. According to a new survey, bosses and their workers both desire the ability to work from home, but they are divided on how productive they are when doing so. That's because while 55 percent of workers surveyed felt they were more productive when working from home, only a quarter of bosses agreed with that sentiment.
Despite their reservations, 42 percent of bosses approve of the move to a more mobile work force, according to Microsoft Canada's Flexible Workspaces survey, which polled 1,249 Canadian bosses and workers.
When asked why they end up working from home, 48 percent said they did so to finish work they couldn't complete at the office. Another 44 percent said they had fewer distractions at home. Just over one-third of employees (35 percent) felt that they were more productive at home and the same number felt they had a better work-life balance working from home.
"What we once considered the traditional office is changing," said James Nicholson, deployment specialist for Windows with Microsoft Canada. "More and more customers, colleagues and technology partners are finding themselves taking business calls from airport waiting lounges, reviewing work documents as they wait at the dentist office or sit on the train, or running important personal errands during their work day."
While workers and bosses both agree in their desire to work from home, bosses are more likely than their employees to work in public places. Surprisingly, almost half the bosses surveyed reported working while driving and 29 percent admitted to working on public transportation. One-quarter of bosses worked from a bar or restaurant.
"Organizations that will be successful in the future are those that remove the barriers between people, workplace and technology," Nicholson said. "When you empower your people by creating a workplace that facilitates flexibility with the technology and solutions that help them to be productive wherever they are, you get the most out of your people. And at the center of their work styles, people expect increased technological capabilities to keep up with them — everything from real-time collaboration with colleagues to video conferencing and secure access to their files."
However, working from home is far from perfect, with nearly half of all bosses complaining about the inability to communicate with employees in person. Other gripes of bosses included lack of focus when working at home, lack of accountability and the belief employees were not doing as much work at home as they could in the office.
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