Teleworking Bosses Mean Dissatisfied Employees: Survey Says

Many studies have been conducted showing that employees who are allowed to telework are happier, more productive and more loyal to their employers. But there's one area where teleworking can have the opposite effect. A study by Timothy D. Golden of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Allan Fromen of GfK Custom Research and reported by Harvard Business Review found that employees whose supervisors work remotely receive less feedback, feel less empowered and are less satisfied with their jobs than those whose supervisors are on site.

The differences in satisfaction were very small, but statistically significant, according to the researchers.

Why it matters to your business: I'm all about telework, as I've used it successfully for years with my employees and now with my own company, and always found it to be a great motivational tool. But when one group of employees (the bosses) is allowed to telework while another group (the staff) is stuck in the office, it's easy to see how resentment can build. This isn't to say you should eliminate teleworking for anyone -- it's just that (as the study's authors suggest) bosses who are teleworking need to be aware of the problems that can arise and take extra steps to ensure their workers feel appreciated, give them regular feedback and interact with them on a continual basis.