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Most Executives Believe Work-at-Home is Recipe for Career Stagnation

posted 14 Apr 2013, 08:40 by Mpelembe   [ updated 14 Apr 2013, 08:41 ]

- 60 percent believe telecommuting can limit upward career mobility

- Two in ten say pay should be lower for telecommuters

- 94 percent see work-at-home as "important" to working parents

LOS ANGELESApril 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A new survey by the Korn/Ferry Institute found that the vast majority of executives embrace telecommuting as a strategy to boost productivity and allow working parents to continue their careers.  Yet, paradoxically, most also see it as an avenue to career stagnation. 

"While some high-profile companies have stepped away from telecommuting, our survey shows that most enterprises still see it as an important way to drive productivity, increase retention and demonstrate inclusion in the workplace," said Ana Dutra, chief executive officer of Korn/Ferry Leadership and Talent Consulting.  "It is all about driving responsibility and accountability, whether a person works in the office or at home."

Nearly 80 percent of the executives surveyed earlier this month say their companies allow telecommuting across job categories.  Fully 94 percent of executives, in fact, see telecommuting as an important option for working parents.  Despite it being an essential perk for work-at-home parents, 60 percent believe telecommuting can limit career-growth opportunities.  

"While working at home can be beneficial for both companies and workers, it can also lead to 'invisibility' that can limit opportunities for career advancement," said Dutra. "It is important for telecommuters to remain networked as closely as possible with peers and leaders in the office."

Though the vast majority of executives believe telecommuters should be paid as much as other workers in comparable jobs, two in ten disagree with the notion that pay should be equitable, regardless of work locale. 

The survey also found that 77 percent have telecommuted at some point in their careers, and that 58 percent are telecommuting now.

The survey was conducted from March 11 – March 20, 2013 and involved more than 300 respondents. 

Editor's note:  A 2012 Korn/Ferry survey showed that most female executives believe parenting provides unique leadership skills that are transferable to the job. These include a better ability to multi-task and prioritize.


1) Do people in your enterprise telecommute?  
Yes – 77 percent
No – 23 percent

2) If people in your enterprise telecommute, from what functions?  
Various – 61 percent
Primarily executive and professional – 32 percent
Primarily administrative – 7 percent

3) Do you telecommute? 
Yes – 58 percent
No – 42 percent

4) Have you ever telecommuted?
Yes – 77 percent
No – 23 percent

5) Do you believe telecommuting can limit career upward mobility? 
Yes – 60 percent
No – 40 percent

6) Telecommuting is an important option for working parents? 
Agree – 94 percent
Disagree – 6 percent

7) Do you believe telecommuters should be paid as much as their peers in the workplace? 
Yes – 81 percent
No – 19 percent

The Korn/Ferry Institute regularly conducts surveys to glean insights on the current workplace and leadership environment.  Results are based on surveys of executives globally registered with the firm's online Executive Center,

About the Korn/Ferry Institute

The Korn/Ferry Institute serves as a premier global voice on a range of talent-management and leadership issues. The Institute commissions, originates and publishes groundbreaking research using Korn/Ferry's unparalleled expertise in executive recruitment and talent development combined with its preeminent behavioral research library. The Institute is dedicated to improving the state of global human capital for businesses of all sizes around the world.

About Korn/Ferry International
Korn/Ferry International is a premier global provider of talent management solutions, with a presence throughout the Americas, Asia PacificEurope, the Middle East and Africa.  The firm delivers services and solutions that help clients cultivate greatness through designing, building and attracting their talent. for more information on Korn/Ferry International, and for thought leadership, intellectual property and research.

SOURCE Korn/Ferry International