As telecommuting becomes an ever more integral part of the work environment, men are dominating the work-from-somewhere-else space.
Recent research supports the growing acceptance of telecommuting by employers. However, the skew toward male telecommuters uncovered by Flex+Strategy Group/Work+Life Fit Inc. may come as a surprise.
The study found that 31 percent of fulltime workers opt to telecommute at least part of the time. And of those, three-quarters are men, the study said.
The profile of the typical telecommuter, at least in this study of 556 employees, is that of a male of no particular generational category working from home. Some have children and some don't; there was no clear pattern that would suggest men wanted to work from home because of family concerns.
Not only do men tend to work from home more regularly than do women, but men also tend to work in an office when they report to “the office.”
The study showed that 43 percent of women who come to “the office” work in a cubical or open environment, while 27 percent of males surveyed said they worked in a cube or open space. When gender is removed as a factor, about a third of workers have offices, a third work in a cube or open space workspace, and a third telecommute.
The folks who come to the office to work receive significantly less guidance about workplace flexibility, the study said, with 47 percent of remote workers claiming they received flexibility training, and 35 percent of office-bound workers saying they received such assistance.
“As organizations continue to squeeze more people into less square footage, they will be increasingly confronted with the limitations of open office plans and forced to accept that work-life flexibility is a solution to where, when and how employees can get their work done with greater focus and performance,” said Cali Williams Yost, CEO of the company and author of the study.
“Whether they work remotely or together on site, we need to help employees develop the critical skill-set needed to manage their work life fit so they can successfully capture the best of collaborative and remote work environments.”