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The wave of adoption of telework as a routine work alternative continues to roll over mainstream businesses. That’s one of the messages of this year’s WorldatWork survey of its members – over 2500 human resources folks. The specific standout number for this particular survey is the […]

The wave of adoption of telework as a routine work alternative continues to roll over mainstream businesses. That’s one of the messages of this year’s WorldatWork survey of its members – over 2500 human resources folks. The specific standout number for this particular survey is the proportion of organizations who say they offer their employees telework as an option. In the US, this number went from 30% last year to 42% this year; in Canada, the rise is from 25% to 40%.

Even given the factors that make those relatively soft numbers – the self-selected nature of the survey, the vagueness of what “offering telework” might mean to different people – that’s still a significant jump. From this and other surveys, it seems clear that we’re past the point where web work is something that is only the province of a few trendsetters; soon we may even be the majority. We can only hope that things like reasonable tax treatment come along with that growth.

By Mike Gunderloy

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  1. Without detailed, reliable information these surveys will have a lot of untrue data. Somebody who “just wants to get the survey finished” and has to write a report on what they did, will likely give what they think is a “trendy or fashionable” answer.

    Things are holding back telework. A lot is ignorance of what it can do, probably more is distrust of workers. That distrust is an interesting area, and there are certainly people who would do less to almost no work from home. The forgotten side of the coin is that conventional work environments dramatically reduce the output of others.

    Time to identify the differences and come up with a reliable way of managing it.

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  2. Another thing I think is holding back telework – I believe many people get their social needs met at work. The more immature among their number need the captive, structured society of the office. They resist the notion of working with teleworkers who contribute only their work (including, of course, the necessary collaboration and group bonding) and are not active participants in the “community.”

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