Missed benefits for home workers

Teleworkers and home workers are not given the same access to training and mentoring opportunities as other employees, according...

Teleworkers and home workers are not given the same access to training and mentoring opportunities as other employees, according to a survey of human resouces specialists by The Work Foundation.

Respondents were shown a list of development opportunities and asked whether remote workers in their organisations have the same access to them as other employees.

Although 73% said they provide remote workers with the same access to training and development as office-based staff, only 55% offer the same coaching opportunities. The same mentoring opportunities are provided in 51% of companies, but only 38% provide the same chances for secondments. Just 36% provide opportunities to experience cross-team working.

The report said, "Organisations that do not ensure that remote workers have the same chances for development as their colleagues risk alienating them and losing their loyalty.

"Our findings that at least half the organisations do not always provide homeworkers with the same opportunities, suggest these organisations may be distancing those employees whose psychological contracts need high maintenance."

A psychological contract, where-by staff trust their employer and are self-motivated to work to the best of their ability, is an integral part of business success, according to experts. However, only 13% of the organisations surveyed have a strategy for sustaining it.

Of the organisations, 31% said they had no strategy, 9% are working on a strategy and 8% did not know their organisation's approach. An informal approach for maintaining a good psychological contract was taken by 39%.

Only 11% made the maintenance of a healthy psychological contract with employees part of their core business objective. Rather, companies tended to judge employee morale by measuring changes in absence levels (81%), retention rates (81%) and staff attitude surveys (49%).

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