Beware of working from home. Even though you can stay connected with the office through email, skype, and texts, your boss may still think you’re slacking off.
It turns out, face time on the job really does matter. That’s according to a study conducted for MIT by business school professors. Basically, the perception of employees who worked remotely, was that they weren’t really working – no matter how many assignments they turned in or how quickly they got their work done.
The researchers looked at what’s called “passive face time” – which is simply time spent in the workplace – regardless of whether a person is actually working, or just reading the latest gossip on TMZ. And the perception is – just by virtue of being on the property or sitting at their desk – those on-site workers were rated as more “responsible, dependable, committed and dedicated.” Those were the actual words bosses used to describe on-site workers. And they were thought of more highly of than workers who simply weren’t physically present.
And those unspoken perceptions came out during employee evaluations.
Bosses rated the employees who were in the office as better performers – whether they really were or not. And that can make a big difference when it comes to pay and promotions.
So what can you do if you’re one of the growing number of employees who works remotely? Make your presence felt. Be the first person to email the boss in the morning – or send in your latest report at midnight – so the boss can see you’re always on it. And when it comes to evaluation time, come in with facts – you racked up this many sales, you signed up this many clients, you increased production by “X” amount. That way, even if your boss is secretly biased because you work from the comfort of your couch, they can’t argue with the facts.