A new informal survey conducted by SodaHead.com reveals that 56 percent of respondents think telecommuting causes their colleagues to get jealous. More than 600 people have answered this question in SodaHead.com’s ‘Thoughts on Telecommuting’ quick votes survey.
Unlike a structured survey or more formal scientific study, anyone can vote in the survey and share their comments. A quick look at some of the comments made me laugh, but despite the humorous comments, some of the responses bring up valid points.
Tre voted yes, agreeing that people at work to get jealous of their colleagues who work at home and commented, "Especially when you know they are at home doing every thing else other than actual work." I’m sure there are some telecommuters who are goofing off while at home, but when study after study points to increased productivity among those who work from home, you have to wonder what the workplace culture is at Tre’s place of employment.
If Tre feels that everyone who telecommutes goofs off, then other employees may also feel the same way. This sentiment can create division in the workplace and so company management needs to ensure that everyone on staff knows that even though some employees are working from home, they are still working. Perhaps an education campaign would help squash this lazy telecommuter stereotype.
Glj voted no on the question, saying ,“I know people would like to work from home, but it takes a specific mindset to pull off successfully. Also very hard to do if you have small children." I agree with glj, it does take a specific mindset to be a successful telecommuter but while small children may add a new challenge, I wouldn’t say that it makes working from home “very hard.”
I worked from home when my children were small and I didn’t hire a mother’s helper or babysitter to help out. I simply re-arranged my schedule so that I could get my work done during their naps and after they were asleep. If the position requires set hours, though, working from home with small children would be more difficult, but not impossible.
The ‘Thoughts on Telecommuting’ survey didn’t just focus on jealousy, though. Other highlights from the survey include:
- 65 percent of respondents think that email is an effective tool for group collaboration
- 41 percent of participants have coworkers who currently telecommute
- 22 percent telecommute full-time while 7 percent only telecommute one day per week
- 70 percent would rather work from home