Several factors seem to provide employers and employees with good reason to explore the benefits of working virtually, whether at home or from a separate location, including:
- Increased access to technology that facilitates virtual work
- Public incentives as part of programs that seek to lessen traffic congestion or focus on clean air initiatives
But the results from our recent poll painted a much different picture.
Each month, AchieveGlobal runs an online poll through our eNewsletter, Achieve. In July, our survey asked, “What percentage of your workforce works virtually (from home office or other
Surprisingly, very few workers work virtually. Most of the participants in this study indicated that less than 25% of their workforce works from home.
This, despite the fact that research indicates that workers are more likely to choose and stay with a company that offers telework opportunities, and that virtual work can provide opportunities for increasing cost effectiveness.
Perhaps a contributing factor to this trend is the perception that managing or leading a virtual workforce can present added technical challenges. But as I mentioned in a recent post, being an effective virtual leader isn’t so much about managing technology, but rather about applying the six zones of leadership to the specifics of virtual leadership:
- being reflective about one’s own virtual capabilities
- understanding how the company affects, and is affected by, its environment
- recognizing differences among people in the virtual workforce
- emphasizing creative thinking in teleworking teams
- focusing on connections across time and space
- staying committed to business productivity
By focusing more on these six leadership principles, perhaps more companies will be willing to launch more wholeheartedly into the world of virtual work, in order to take advantage of the social, human, and financial benefits.
To subscribe to our monthly newsletter, Achieve and participate in our regular polls, visit http://www.achieveglobal.com/research-and-resources/enewsletters.aspx
Sharon Daniels is CEO of AchieveGlobal in Tampa, Florida