It could be the ones in the office every day. That was the surprising discovery of a study last fall that examined a Fortune 100 tech company that allows its employees to choose where they work. As telecommuting continues to increase (more than a third of the U.S. workforce, according to a Gallup poll), the concern has traditionally been with monitoring the performance and feelings of remote workers. But the study by a pair of university business professors uncovered something else. Once a certain number of employees are working offsite, the entire group feels isolated and disconnected – including the workers who still come to the office.
What else did the study discover? The biggest reason employees chose to work offsite was a feeling that few people from their team came to the office anymore – a self-fulfilling prophecy that drove up the number of people working remotely.
Remote workers agree that working offsite helped their work-life balance and made their job satisfying, but did not feel it facilitated their career progression.
Even people who largely worked offsite still desired the option of a traditional office and missed the social and work benefits of being there.