US executives see telecommuting as an avenue to career stagnation

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With all the hoo-hah about Yahoo’s new ban from working at home, a new survey by the Korn/Ferry Institute found that telecommuting could be a strategy to boost productivity and allow working parents to continue with their careers. However, most also see it as an avenue to career stagnation. 

Nearly 80% of the executives surveyed allow their employees to telecommute across job categories.  In fact, 94% of executives see telecommuting as an important option for working parents.  Ironically, despite it being an essential perk for work-at-home parents, 60% believe telecommuting can limit career-growth opportunities.  

This is because of the lack of visibility at the office, which could lead to losing that promotion. "While working at home can be beneficial for both companies and workers, it can also lead to 'invisibility' that can limit opportunities for career advancement," said Ana Dutra, chief executive officer of Korn/Ferry Leadership and Talent Consulting. "It is important for telecommuters to remain networked as closely as possible with peers and leaders in the office."

Though the vast majority of executives believe telecommuters should be paid as much as other workers in comparable jobs, two in 10 disagree with the notion that pay should be equitable, regardless of work locale. 

Telework expert Kate Lister said "back of the head" management was still common with many line managers thinking that if they have to be able to see workers to trust they're working, despite research showing that even those at their desks manage to waste two hours a day.

The survey was conducted from March 11 to 20 this year and involved more than 300 respondents.

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