Outdated Business Management Practices Block Flexible Work Styles, Hinder Competitiveness

New Report Shows That America’s Employers Cling to 1950s-style Management Practices

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., June 27, 2011 – While 63 million Americans hold jobs that could be done at home, fewer than 3 million actually work away from the office most of the time, according to research commissioned by Citrix Online, a division of Citrix Systems, Inc. Conducted by Telework Research Network, the research analyzed statistics from public and private sources, such as the U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics, to build a complete image of the state of virtual working in the United States. The results paint a dismal picture. Employee demand to workshift far outstrips their opportunity to do so, highlighting the persistence of outdated management practices and antiquated attitudes towards oversight and eligibility.

New Findings from "The State of Telework in the U.S. "

  • Perk vs. Standard Practice – Work from home, telecommuting and flex work is still a perk versus an accepted business practice.
  • A typical workshifter is 49 years old, college educated and in a management, senior employee or professional role.
  • Over 75% of employees who work from home earn over $65,000 per year, putting them in the upper 80 percentile relative to all employees.
  • Demand Outpaces Supply
  • 63 million U.S. employees hold jobs that could be done at home at least part of the time, yet fewer than 3 million, 2.3% of the population, get the chance to work virtually on a regular basis.
  • Almost 80% of all employees would work from home if they could.
  • Will Trade Money for Freedom
  • More than one third of non-teleworkers surveyed by WorldatWork would take a pay cut to be able to have more independence in where and how they work.
  • Commute Time Is Not a Factor
  • The study found no correlation between cities with the most congestion or longest commute times and number of workshifters.
  • The San Diego metro area has the highest concentration of people who work at home, 4.2%, while Detroit and Houston have the lowest, each with 1.8%. The New York metro area rounds out the bottom three, with 2.1%.

Why It Matters

  • As business becomes more global and workforces more dispersed, companies will have little choice but to implement virtual work practices. Those who operate that way now will have a significant head start, not to mention the pick of talent from around the globe, instead of just their own backyard.
  • Ongoing concerns about the global economy are causing companies to keep a tight grip on hiring. For growing companies, this can result in more work for those in employment, creating the need to work longer. Virtual working offers people a better work-life balance by letting them take charge of how they manage competing priorities in a given period of time.
  • Workshifting, the ability to work where it is most optimal rather than confined to an office or specific location, is much more than a perk; it is a business advantage. Implemented correctly, it is a means to diversify the organization, attract new talent, increase productivity and enhance sustainability.
  • Despite being the birthplace of much of the technical innovation that makes "work anywhere" possible, the U.S. is stubbornly lagging behind other parts of the world when it comes to workshifting: in Canada, 3.2% of the population teleworks regularly, and in the United Kingdom the figure is even higher at 5.6%, compared to just 2.3% in the U.S.
  • Mobile and collaboration technology exists to enable people to work anytime, anywhere. Outdated management thinking is often the only serious obstacle to more flexible and virtual work practices.
The reality is that managers simply don’t trust their employees to work untethered. That’s not going to change until companies start measuring performance based on results, rather than the number of hours someone sits at their desk. Management gurus have been telling us for decades that results-based management is the key to maximizing employee potential; and it’s true whether employees are a hundred feet or a hundred miles away.
- Kate Lister


Telework Research Network

Come on America, something needs to change – and that something is senior management attitudes towards new work styles. It’s time to join the 21st century and focus on work as a thing we do, not a place we go. With that mindset, every business could become more dynamic and competitive overnight.
- Brett Caine


Citrix Online

About the Research

The research was conducted by the Telework Research Network, an independent research and advisory firm that specializes in modeling the economic, societal, and environmental benefits of telework and workplace flexibility for companies, government community leaders. New Ways of Working (NewWOW) was a co-sponsor of the study. Data from the following sources was compiled, compared and analyzed: American Community Survey PUMS data, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau; American Time Use Survey and National Compensation Survey, conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics; Telework 2011, Telework Trendlines and the 2011 Survey on Workplace Flexibility, conducted by WorldatWork.

About Citrix Systems, Inc.

Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTXS) is a leading provider of virtual computing solutions that help companies deliver IT as an on-demand service. Founded in 1989, Citrix combines virtualization, networking, and cloud computing technologies into a full portfolio of products that enable virtual workstyles for users and virtual datacenters for IT. More than 230,000 organizations worldwide rely on Citrix to help them build simpler and more cost-effective IT environments. Citrix partners with over 10,000 companies in more than 100 countries. Annual revenue in 2010 was $1.87 billion.

The Online Services Division of Citrix provides secure, easy-to-use cloud-based solutions that enable people to work from anywhere with anyone. Whether using GoToMeeting® to hold online meetings, GoToWebinar® to conduct larger web events, GoToTraining® to train customers or employees, GoToMyPC® to access and work on a remote Mac® or PC, GoToAssist® to support customers or GoToManage® for IT support and management, businesses and individuals are increasing productivity, decreasing travel costs and improving sales, training and service on a global basis. For more information, visit www.citrixonline.com.

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Citrix® and GoToMeeting® are trademarks of Citrix Systems, Inc. and/or one or more of its subsidiaries, and may be registered in the Patent and Trademark Office and in other countries. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.
The benefits of workshifting have been known for quite some time now, so it’s easy to assume that everyone is doing it these days, but the truth of the matter is pretty sobering and more than a little disappointing. Despite much evidence to the contrary, it seems old-fashioned notions that work must be seen to be done still prevail. And by offering workshifting merely as a perk for management, companies are missing out on some of the biggest benefits of flexible working.
- Brett Caine


Citrix Online