One-in-Five Employers Say Working from Home Equals Slacking

April 25, 2007 ( - A recent survey of 1,200 managers and employees conducted by Mitel found 21% of managers say working from home means an employee is "taking it easy."

According to a Computing news report, 37% of managers said they think employees working from home will use their time for personal activities, such as taking a long lunch. Almost one-third (30%) said they think employees will arrange their social life while working from home.

Meanwhile, 68% of employees said working from home would mean they are more flexible, enabling them to be more productive (41%), and work longer hours (28%), the news report said. Nearly one-fifth (18%) of employees surveyed said they would like to be able to work from home two days per week, and 55% said working from home is acceptable in any capacity.

The research points out there are advantages to employers by allowing employees to work from home, including reducing overheads, increasing productivity and staff retention, and relieving environmental pressures by decreasing travel.

For those employers distrusting of teleworking, Graham Bevington, managing director of Mitel, said in the news report, “Through the use of virtual teams using instant messaging to communicate, having the ability to set up video and conference calls, and share documents from the network, there is no need for employers to panic that people working from home or outside the office cannot contribute to the business as a fully functioning member of the team.”