TORONTO (Reuters) - Despite the freedom and ease of working from home, many Canadians say their jobs would be easier if they worked in the same office as their boss and most executives feel the same, according to a new survey.
“Contrary to popular belief, employees don’t relish time away from their bosses,” said Lisa Fried, of the British Columbia division of Office Team, a California-based administrative staffing service company.
Although e-mails and instant messaging can keep them in touch with their bosses, employees felt disconnected while working from home, according to Fried.
“When you’re just communicating on a daily basis via e-mail, you don’t always have that sense of being part of a team, or of being able to get that literally immediate feedback,” Fried added in an interview.
E-mails can also be misinterpreted and may not have the same weight as a telephone call or a meeting.
“Employees might think bosses equate the quality of their work with how often they’re seen or heard,” Fried explained.
“Sometimes they may not be able to toot their own horn, their boss may not really be able to see what they do on a daily basis in order to get proper credit for their achievements.”
About 48 percent of the 492 office workers who took part in the survey said their jobs would be difficult if they didn’t work in the same office as their manager. Twenty-one percent thought it would be easier to work without a boss nearby, and roughly 26 percent said it didn’t matter.
Nearly 60 percent of 150 senior executive questioned in the International Communications Research poll said it was important to have all department members working at the same location, while 29 percent said it was somewhat unimportant.
Fried said employees who work from home, or in a different office from their supervisor, need to be self-starters and disciplined, and must make greater efforts to stay connected with colleagues and managers.
They should also provide frequent status reports and highlight their accomplishments.
Editing by Patricia Reaney; firstname.lastname@example.org; 416-941-8180; Reuters Messaging: @reuters.net;