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