Telecommuters May Miss Out on Office Attaboys/Girls

October 7, 2005 ( - Telecommuters may enjoy not having to fight traffic to get to work each day, but they may also be missing out on things their in-office counterparts enjoy, a new survey found.

A news release from Maritz, a St. Louis market research firm, said its study found that 42% of offsite employees and 32% of onsite workers believe that those who come to the office get more recognition than telecommuters. About one in 10 survey participants work out of their homes.

Offsite employees also aren’t particularly loyal to one company. The study found that 43% of offsite employees would be very to extremely likely to leave their current company if they found a similar job function and compensation.

According to the announcement, the study also found that seven in 10 (71%) of offsite employees found intangible rewards, like praise or recognition, very to extremely important. However, only 40% of offsite employees’ supervisors frequently say “thank you” for a job well done while 24% of their supervisors seldom or never say “thank you.”

“There are inherent challenges in communicating with employees who work remotely, and therefore, also in the frequency managers congratulate, thank and recognize these employees. Offsite employees also work independently; so, often their work progress and successes, as well as the need for improvement programs or opportunities for professional development, are not as readily seen by management,” said Jane Herod, president of Maritz Incentives, in the news release. “That’s why it’s important to develop a comprehensive plan to address the unique needs of offsite employees.”

The online Maritz Poll survey — conducted in November 2004 — featured responses from 1,010 randomly selected, full-time, employed adults (504 male, 506 female) ages 18 – 65+ from throughout the United States.