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Monday, February 11, 2013

Three Ways a Lack of Passive Face Time May Adversely Affect Telecommuters


Two weeks ago I posted: [INFOGRAPHIC] How Much Would the Average Person Pay to Work from Home?. This blog post and infographic discussed just how interested survey respondents were in telecommuting and exacting what they would forfeit in order to work remotely.

CLICK HERE to read more on how telecommuting is becoming more prevalent.

As non-traditional work arrangements, such as telecommuting, gain in popularity there are a few adverse effects that one should be aware of. Below are the top three passive face time trends that telecommuters should consider.
Passive face time is defined as being observed in the office. Unconscious judgements are made about employees based on this observation.  Supervisors may unconsciously assess remote and in-office employees differently based on this principle of passive face time.
  1. Two kinds of passive face time occur. Expected face time is being seen at work by colleagues or supervisors during regular business time frames. Extracurricular face time is being observed in the workplace outside normal hourly parameters — arriving early or working voluntarily in the office on weekends or evenings. This emphasis on amount of time seen at work leads to the second trend.
  2. Evaluations differ due to the different kinds of face time. The two types of passive face time play a role in ‘trait inferences’ or determinations of one’s character and attributes as a person. Studies find that expected face time puts the idea in people’s heads that an employee is ‘dutiful’ and ‘dependable’. Other traits are attributed to you when you perform extracurricular face time, however. As opposed to being ‘dependable’, your mental evaluation by others is bumped up to levels such as ‘committed’ and ‘dedicated’.
  3. Managers may not be aware of biases resulting from face time. Studies conclude that supervisors’ judgements based on face time are not intentional, but unconscious. This supports other research findings that people create trait inferences without realizing it.

CLICK HERE to read the full London Business School article on how the effects of telecommuting are not often recognized.


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Kelliann McDonald is an author, a marketing and public relations strategist and a community advocate. A recognized #BrandMotivator™, McDonald works to generate results that attain and surpass brand and organizational objectives. For more from McDonald, Follow her on Twitter @KelliannMc, Like her on Facebook.com/KelliannMc or Follow her on Instagram @kMcDiva for #CasualKel photos.
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