Huffpost Business
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Rose Stanley Headshot

Teleworking Banned? 4 Facts That Say This Isn't the New Normal

Posted: Updated:

With all the press this past year about some very prominent companies rescinding their telework policies, I was very happy that it happened to coincide with the scheduled update of WorldatWork's Workplace Flexibility Survey. The study also happened to coincide with National Work and Family Month. We were excited to actually survey what everyone has been asking in their blogs, twitter feeds and articles: "Is this a new trend among companies regarding their telework programs?"

The answer was a pretty resounding "NO!" when participants were asked whether their organizations terminated any flexible work program in the past two years (remember: this survey covers all forms of flexibility.) Only one to three percent of the respondents said they had ended any programs among those in the entire spectrum of 13 different flexible work arrangements listed in the survey, and only two percent noted they'd specifically ended telework.

We also learned a few more things relating to telework. We broke down telework into four different options (listed below) and some interesting facts came out in each of these options:

Telework on an ad hoc basis (meet a repair person, sick child, etc.)
  • 83 percent of orgs offer this option to some or all employees
  • It's more prevalent in the private sector than the public or non-profit sector (87 percent or higher)
  • It's predominately offered to exempt employees (99 percent), however non-exempts also have this option (62 percent)
  • This option is the second most used flexibility option by employees and the top telework option among all teleworkers
Telework on a regular monthly basis (at least one day a month but not full-time)
  • 56 percent of orgs offer this option to some or all employees
  • Over 55 percent of those organizations in the private and non-profit sector of fer this option, while 42 percent of the public sector offer this option
  • It's predominately offered to exempt employees (95 percent), however non-exempts also have this option at 49 percent of the respondents
  • This telework option is the seventh most used flexibility option by employees and the third telework option among all teleworkers
Telework on a regular weekly basis (at least one day per week, but not full-time)
  • 52 percent of orgs offer this option to some or all employees
  • Over 50 percent of those organizations in the private sector and over 45 percent of the public and non-profit sectors offer this option
  • It's predominately offered to exempt employees (94 percent), however non-exempts also have this option (48 percent)
  • This telework option is the sixth most used flexibility option by employees and the second telework option used by all teleworkers
Telework full-time (every regularly scheduled work day)
  • 34 percent of orgs offer this option to some or all employees
  • 34 percent of those organizations in the private sector, 21 percent in the non-profit sector, and 25 percent of the public sector offers this option
  • It's predominately offered to exempt employees (94 percent), however non-exempts also have this option at 45 percent of the respondents
  • This telework option is the tenth most used flexibility option by employees and the fourth telework option utilized by all teleworkers

We also asked some additional questions related to remote work:

Top 5 technologies used with teleworkers
  • 20 percent = Virtual private network (VPN)
  • 18 percent = Communication and collaboration software
  • 18 percent = Telephone systems
  • 16 percent = Instant messaging
  • 9 percent = Shared desktops
What expenses does your organization cover for teleworkers?
  • 20 percent = laptop
  • 15 percent = software
  • 14 percent = mobile devices
  • 13 percent = mobile phone bill
  • 11 percent = internet access
What do managers report regarding productivity of teleworking employees?
  • 53 percent say it's difficult to estimate the productivity of teleworking employees
  • 36 percent say that teleworking employees are equally as productive
  • 8 percent say their teleworkers are more productive
  • Only two percent say their teleworkers are less productive (interesting that this is the same percentage of employers that terminated teleworking programs in the last two years!)
Look for some future blogs where I take a look at the different techniques and technologies that organizations and their teleworkers use to stay connected and on top of things as well as discussing the manager's role in helping teleworkers be successful.

Until then, I'll just sit here working productively on my (own) laptop as I absorb the quiet atmosphere that is my home (office) on a weekly basis.