That’s according to the London Business School’s professor of organisational behaviour Dan Cable. He was interviewed for BBC Radio Four’s programme The Homeworker, which aired today.
Presenter Lucy Mangan, herself a homeworker, examined the rise of homeworking and the advantages and disadvantages it brings for employers and employees. Cable said even when flexible working is accepted and encouraged, colleagues and managers subconsciously attribute negative characteristics to those who aren’t in the office.
Conversely, those putting in hours in the evenings and weekends are subconsciously registering on their boss’s radar as people who care about the business. “I won’t admit I think that, but I will rate you differently in a performance evaluation,” Cable told the programme. “For now, you are doing yourself a disservice by telecommuting.”
Cable went on to give homeworkers advice on how to raise their visibility, from setting emails to send at 5am; to notifying managers when you start pieces of work; and copying other people into emails to show you’re working with different departments.
“You’re not creating more value but you’re helping people understand you’re at work,” he said. “The more often that you can signal that you’re working all the time, the more likely they’ll see you as committed.”
However, other contributors to the programme commented that homeworkers usually ‘overwork’ as they are grateful to be in a flexible working arrangement. This overwork could be as much as 24 free days a year for an employer.
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