Thursday, 10 November 2016 11:34

Aussie workers’ ‘promo fomo’ dampens enthusiasm for working from home

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Aussie workers’ ‘promo fomo’ dampens enthusiasm for working from home Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Many Australians fear they might miss out on promotion at work by taking up the opportunities for teleworking from home or in a location other than their office, according to new research from Telstra.

And, while that fear of missing out on getting a promotion – dubbed by Telstra as Promo Fomo – is a key factor for employees reluctance to work away from the office, the survey shows that one in four employees are working from home at least once a fortnight, while of those who can work from home, 9 in 10 said they would work from home regularly if they could.

The research, undertaken for Neilsen for Telstra, was released on Thursday by Telstra which says that the fear of missing out on a promotion is stopping Aussies from achieving better balance between work and life at home, and missing out on “increased happiness”.

Of the 1,200 employees and 600 employers surveyed by Nielsen, when comparing how employees feel working at home versus working in the office, they’re more relaxed (63% versus 36%), more productive (61% versus 50%), more creative (52% versus 37%) and calmer (61% versus 41%), “equating to benefits for the worker and the boss”.

And, Telstra says that employees may not realise their employers are in favour of them working from home, too.

The survey reveals that employees get more productivity (30% of employees said they send more emails to look busy at home, and 20% make more calls), translating into employers getting “happier staff” according to Telstra.

Factors like enabling work-life balance (67%), saving employees the commute (66%) and allowing work-time flexibility (66%) were the top reasons employers allowed their staff to work from home, above productivity gains (52%) and reduction of costs (55%), which Telstra suggests means that Aussie employees’ Promo Fomo may be unfounded.

Telstra says it knows technology is no longer a barrier for most people to work from home, and it was identified as the area of least concern in its research findings revealed in its Work Life Index launched on Thursday.

The telco says the rollout of the National Broadband Network is enabling fast connections for people, “so Aussies can work to their preferred style at home”.

“With this in mind, Telstra wants to demystify the supposed barriers to working from home adoption and create a movement where Australian society is better off as a result of flexible working.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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