Israelis put premium on spending time at work

“Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”

By
February 21, 2013 22:10
2 minute read.
Right to Work

Right to Work sign 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

“Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”

Israelis seem to have taken the verse from Ecclesiastes to heart, at least according to a survey that found that Israelis are 9 percent more likely than the world average to think getting in early and leaving late indicate hard work (35% versus 44%).

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Israelis are 4% more likely than the the global mean to believe that putting in that kind of face time at work is important to their management as well, the survey – performed by Regus, a company that provides business centers for telecommuters – discovered.

A recent article in The Economist has vindicated this Israeli mentality, noting that telecommuters are less likely to be promoted.

“Managers rated those at the office to be more dependable and industrious, regardless of the quality of their work,” it said, citing a study in the MIT Sloan Management Review.

“Visibility creates the illusion of value. Being the last to leave the office impresses bosses, even if you are actually larking around on Facebook.”

As telecommunication technology has made working from home – or elsewhere – more common, Israel has been slow to take up the trend.

Globally, 69% of the workers in the survey said that younger workers were making flexible working hours more mainstream.

In Israel, only 54% thought so.

Despite valuing face time at the office more than others, Israelis seemed to have lost the message when it comes to other areas of life, especially regarding family. The number of Israelis who said that they felt obligated to overcompensate for taking time to deal with family matters was only two-thirds that of their global peers, and a similarly lower proportion thought more work flexibility was necessary to help them spend time with their children.

Nearly a quarter fewer Israelis said they needed to wake up early or stay up late to tend to both their families and work.

On a similar note, Israelis were far less likely than most to be distracted by children or family when working from home, with those polled reporting that children seeking attention disturbed their work 59% of the time against the global 75%.

The report, based on interviews with 20,000 businesspeople from around the world, sought to portray the benefits of working from home or a coffee shop – as opposed to a Regus business center, for example – as limited, pointing out the various distractions and difficulties that arise for people who don’t come into the office.

The survey asked people to “check all that apply” from lists of possible distractions at home and in coffee shops, but not in the office or alternative work places.

It did not, however, address whether people were happier or more productive working from home, coffee shops or the office.


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