Only 14 percent of survey respondents indicated that telecommuting is the norm, down 1 percent since the 2009 survey. The number of survey respondents reporting telecommuting as "forbidden" was down since the 2009 survey, but it was only down by 3 percent.
Such little movement is surprising because in this down economy technologies that support telecommuting such as unified messaging and video conferencing have been seen as cost savers.
"Why the telecommuting adoption didn't meet expectations is hard to conclude," says Baretz. "One assumption may be that coming out of the recession business leaders had a desire to have a more concrete or physical interaction with their teams."
What is clear from the survey is that the bigger the company the more accepting and supportive it will be of telecommuting.
The largest organizations in the SWC survey (firms with more than 2,000 employees) had disproportionate levels of acceptance, with more than 20 percent indicating that telecommuting was the norm -- meaning that more workers telecommute than not.
"SMBs and startups are tight knit groups who want and need to see each other every day," says Baretz. "Enterprises are more impersonal. So they are OK with telecommuting. Cutting travel costs is more of a priority for them."
The majority of responders to the SWC Technology Partners' June 2011 survey were IT senior leadership and management from organizations within the Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana markets and represent industries such as manufacturing, retail, education, construction, healthcare, and accounting. Sixty-seven percent of respondents manage environments with a user base between 100 and 2,000 individuals.
Shane O'Neill covers Microsoft, Windows, Operating Systems, Productivity Apps and Online Services for CIO.com. Follow Shane on Twitter @smoneill. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline and on Facebook. Email Shane at email@example.com.