A study from the Federal Managers Association says that group members point to management resistance as the key barrier to agencies embracing telecommuting as a standard operating procedure.

Among the trade group study’s findings:

  • Only 35 percent of managers believe their agencies support telework, and managers ranked fear of not having control over employees and productivity issues as the top telework inhibitors;
  • Nearly a third of the surveyed managers rated lack of face-to-face contact as a telework challenge. More than 60 percent and 40 percent of managers have misinterpreted co-workers via e-mail and phone, respectively; and,
  • Sixty-six percent of managers who manage teleworkers reported that teleworkers are as productive as their in-office counterparts.

“The study highlights the disconnect between the perception of telework and the practicality of telework,” said association president Darryl Perkinson, in a statement. “While funding seems to be the least impediment, managers must find a balance between performance output and employee supervision before agencies can fully realize the benefits of telework.”Managers across the board consistently viewed work/life balance and the practice’s impact on employee recruitment/retention as major telework drivers.
The full results of the study, which included responses from more than 200 federal managers, are available at www.teleworkexchange.com/managementstudy.

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