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April 09, 2021

Is telecommuting really on its way out?

Assuming you're one of the lucky few who actually have a job, how does having a four-day work week or at least or a flexible schedule sound?

How about being able to work from home occasionally, or even all the time for that matter?

According to a recent survey, the top reason that people want a flexible job is to find work-life balance, followed by:
  • More time with family
  • Less commuting stress
  • More free time
  • Fewer costs from commuting and work expenses
  • Better health and more exercise
Not all companies see things that way, however.


Yahoo's new CEO Marissa Mayer recently announced that she was abolishing the company's longstanding work-from-home policy, arguing that to foster a culture of innovation and collaboration Yahoo employees really had to be around the office.

So far, the controversial move to end telecommuting and bring workers back to the office has yet to catch fire though.

Eighty percent of 120 human resources executives recently polled by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas said they continue to offer a telecommuting option, with 97 per cent saying they are no plans to change this practice.

We tend to trust what we can see, which makes it difficult to evaluate employees who don’t spend time in the office. To ensure they're being fair in in their assessment of remote workers, employers should ask telecommuters to suggest performance metrics that assess both their results and behaviour.

At the same time, don’t inadvertently slight telecommuters for raises or promotions because they’re “out of sight, out of mind,” suggests Keith Ferrazzi in the Harvard Business Review.

Are you able to work from home? Do you worry that this perk might be on its way out? Do you think you might be missing out when it comes to evaluations?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...