Do you prefer employees who don’t work from home?

What are your thoughts?

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Happy Friday everyone!

I was reading this study on managerial preferences towards employees who WFH and wanted to see what you think. The University of Warsaw surveyed around 1000 managers from the UK and found that employees who WFH are less likely to be considered for promotion, salary increase and training compared to on-site workers. 

What do you think? Would you be more likely to promote someone who worked from the office in comparison to someone who WFH? And why? 

The study also found that for those who WFH, men were impacted the most regarding a lack of promotion, salary increase and training. Women with no children were slightly affected and then for mothers, there were no negative consequences.

Why do you think there is a difference here and what are your thoughts on it?

Looking forward to hearing your opinions and hope you all have a good weekend!

Replies (14)

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By Paul Crowley
12th Apr 2024 14:54

I have none working from home.
Supervision would be a problem, but in practice it is no different from them working on a different floor.
The problem is that home is a place of temptation, must easier to waste time and get distracted in a domestic environment, so easy to see that the perception would be lack of control.
The commute is a change of mindset.

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By Duggimon
12th Apr 2024 15:20

For 90% of the workload there is no issue with people working from home, but the other 10% is small tasks that crop up and you need someone to help with quickly. If all your staff are remote then you presumably have some collaborative online space you can engage them through, but if some of them are remote and some of them are in the office it's always the ones in the office you get to do it.

It's those little tasks that, in the mind of management tend to cement staff as particularly useful, valuable or helpful. You can argue it's unfair, and maybe it is, but it's just human nature I think and those in the office in a hybrid environment will be the ones most present in the minds of the bosses.

As it is though, the question is moot for us at least, we have admin staff, accountants and partners, nobody is getting promoted, this sounds like a survey looking at far larger businesses.

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Replying to Duggimon:
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By Paul Crowley
12th Apr 2024 16:15

It is not unreasonable for managers to rely on and have better relationships with people who work in the workplace.

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By SkyBlue22
12th Apr 2024 15:32

At my firm almost all staff work 3 days at the office, 2 days at home. Teams must have a senior in at all times so there's usually a rotation of who that senior is. I don't feel like it affects management particularly.

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By tom123
12th Apr 2024 15:49

I'm training a very bright and engaged apprentice. I think we both enjoy how this is going. This would not be possible with WFH - albeit my apprentice has one effective WFH day when the studies happen online.

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By AdamJones82
12th Apr 2024 16:19

Anybody who thinks employees who work in an office are more productive than those working from home aren't seeing how much time is wasted gossiping/chatting each day.

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Replying to AdamJones82:
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By Barbara G
12th Apr 2024 19:08

I understand what you mean about gossip, but in actual fact, in my place when we are in the office the gossip tends to be work based, such as "how can this be done more efficiently" or "look what this client has requested now, how will we address this issue" or, "how long are you having to wait to get through on the phone to HMRC" So the "gossip" is productive.

As for working from home, fine for those who are highly experienced and can work independently. However, for junior workers, we found it took far too much of a supervisor's time checking their work remotely when it could be done in less than half the time by just looking over their shoulder and discussing any issues in person.

So it depends on the level and the individual.

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Replying to AdamJones82:
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By Samantha20
13th Apr 2024 09:23

AdamJones82 wrote:

Anybody who thinks employees who work in an office are more productive than those working from home aren't seeing how much time is wasted gossiping/chatting each day.


And how much time is wasted commuting. It is also very tiring and stressful commuting unless you are lucky enough to have a very short commute, so you are unlikely to get the best out of your employees.
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Replying to Samantha20:
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By Paul Crowley
13th Apr 2024 12:59

If you genuinely cannot give your best in the workplace? Wow.

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By Samantha20
13th Apr 2024 16:15

Paul Crowley wrote:

If you genuinely cannot give your best in the workplace? Wow.


I have had very long commutes and, yes, it is very difficult to give your best if you are tired and stressed by cancelled trains and tubes. I was single at the time but I it would have been even more difficult if I had had children and also had the stress of arranging care for them if was late picking them up etc. So, I doubt that I would be at my best in the workplace. If we had reliable public transport, it would be different, but we do not.

Commuting to the office was fine when only one parent worked like in the 1970s but now that both work, it just adds to the stress of already stressed parents. We should be making life as easly as possible for everyone, especially parents.

The two working mothers that I manage are so grateful to be able to work from home that they go above and beyond what they need to do. They are the best employees I have ever had

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By FactChecker
12th Apr 2024 16:24

"Do you prefer employees who don’t work from home?
What are your thoughts?"

My main thought is that I prefer employees who work over those "who don't"!

Of all the relevant factors (from attitude and experience, from aptitude and integrity, from focus and openness to learning, and so on), by far the least relevant is the location where the work is carried out UNLESS that is a basic part of the role.

It'd be hard to justify an Audit clerk WFH on any regular basis - but equally insane to suggest that a financial modeller needs to be based in an office.

This is an over-tired (and over-tried) topic where a few have rigid views but most recognise that some fluidity (subject to job role, staff development opportunities and client demands) will trump any 'one size fits all' mentality.

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Stepurhan
By stepurhan
12th Apr 2024 23:26

Slackers will find a way to slack wherever they are. Responsible workers will do good work wherever they are.

Anyone that bases their promotions and bonuses solely on whether they can see someone regularly instead of judging by results is a bad manager.

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Replying to stepurhan:
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By Samantha20
13th Apr 2024 09:25

stepurhan wrote:

Slackers will find a way to slack wherever they are. Responsible workers will do good work wherever they are.

Anyone that bases their promotions and bonuses solely on whether they can see someone regularly instead of judging by results is a bad manager.


Exactly. Before I was able to work from home, I worked in an office where one person just talked loudly all day, either on the phone or to other people in the office. It was so distracting.
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By taxdigital
13th Apr 2024 14:21

In accountancy, at least for the smaller firms, it’s the employEEs’ market, not the employers’. With the newly minted Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023 (effective 6 April 2024), employers (particularly those smaller firms) have no option but to live with the reality that the WFH virus is here to stay and spread. Whilst the employees WFH may save on travel and dry cleaning costs, and on travel time, the employment costs for the employer are never going to go down. As for preference, employers may generally feel being in control when employees are not working from home. But that’s just the psychology part; at the end of the day, it’s the results that matter. The occupancy levels of commercial properties in London are still nowhere near the pre-pandemic levels which means hybrid working arrangements may ultimately see employers saving some cash on office costs.

But what is not clear yet is what will happen to all the workplace romance: can Cupid strike through Zooms and Teams and relieve all the isolation fatigue!

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