All the new methods of staying connected to the workplace allow for more and more people to work from alternate locations. The need to actually be in the office is becoming less and less. Or is it? You may be able to be super productive at home or in the coffee shop, but your boss may not think so. Your boss may not see what it is that you bring to the team.
In the Summer 2012 issue of MIT Sloan Management Review there is an article titled, “Why Showing Your Face at Work Matters.” This article discusses the downside of teleworking (also known as telecommuting, working from home, the virtual workplace…etc.). The downside being, no matter how hard you work at home, no matter how productive you are, you may still be rated below your office working peers when it comes time for your performance appraisal. Not because they are better, but because they are seen at the office. So how does that make you feel? I guess it isn’t too bad, if you rate your value add to the company as below those of your office working peers. But, what if you are the work horse and your office peer group rides your production? Then….it might be a problem. My guess is, that no matter how you rate yourself, it is a problem — it should be.
The authors of the article explain that Passive Face Time is to blame. Which basically boils down to: the boss seeing you at the office equates you to being a dedicated and productive worker (or at the least more so than the employees working from their houses). Yes, this a skewed biased position to take. Some people need to work from home – disabilities, child care, company policies, geographical considerations. Management needs to recognize that they may be viewing an employee in this light. However, this is not a management only problem. The employee must also make an effort to be interactive with those in the office – share what you are working on, call your boss, IM your boss, speak to fellow employees.
Technology is allowing for a more flexible work force. Working from home or an alternative work site is going to become the norm. The communication between management and the offsite employee is key to ensuring a healthy working relationship and work environment.
Read the MIT Sloan Management Review article Why Showing Your Face at Work Matters
- Telework is a work in progress (washingtonpost.com)
- Infographic: Employer Mistrust Slows Trend Toward Telecommuting (prweb.com)
- Wi-Ex Promotes Telework Day (prweb.com)