I was honored when the The Boston Globe asked me to contribute to “The Work Issue” they published this past weekend in honor of Labor Day.
The article, “Work-life does not imply age, gender, or parenthood,” included graphic highlights (above) of results from the recent national study we conducted in partnership with ORC International.
Key points I make in the OpEd:
Recent news events — reported abuses by employees at the US Patent and Trademark Office, Yahoo’s high-profile pullback in 2013 — may suggest otherwise, but research shows that remote work has become a fundamental way that a surprisingly large percentage of the American workforce gets their jobs done. Now organizations, managers, and individuals must catch up.
We need to de-parent, de-gender, and de-age the perception of the flexible worker. Among the respondents who said they did most of their work from a remote location, nearly three out of four were men. Further, there was no significant difference between remote workers with or without kids, and no significant difference in the age groups of remote workers.
If we can no longer isolate telework neatly into demographic boxes, that means we all need to acquire a new skill set to use telework to get our jobs done — and manage the rest of our lives. Unfortunately, in that same study, a majority of workers — nearly 60 percent — received no training on how to manage their work-life flexibility, and this lack of guidance made them feel like their boss had all the control.
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
What do you think? Have we reached the tipping point where telework has become a fundamental way we get our jobs done, regardless of gender, parenting status and age?