One-Third of Workers Say They Would Prefer to Work at Home for Less Money
A new survey conducted by the human resources firm Cezanne found that one-third of people would gladly accept a pay cut if it meant that they could work from their own homes rather than commuting to an office each day.
Participants in the survey were asked whether they would be willing to move to another job where they would earn less money if it meant they were able to work out of their own homes. While 66% of respondents said they wouldn’t be willing to take the pay cut, while about 34% of the participants said they would because they valued the flexibility offered by working from home more than they would the money.
The survey results come at a time when many employers are reconsidering their stand on allowing some employees to work from home. Technological advances have resulted in softwares that makes it easy for managers to keep tabs on employees and monitor their productivity even when they are not physically in the office.
Benefits of Working from Home
Participants in the survey also were asked why they would prefer to work at home. Some of the reasons they gave include:
- Working from home created fewer distractions
- No time wasted commuting to and from work
- Desire for an optimized work/life balance
- Ability to spend more time with their families
- Better able to manage the stress that often accompanies high-pressure jobs
Other recent studies have supported the concept that working from home can increase productivity and decrease stress, at least for some workers. The research also suggests that businesses that encourage and support a work from home protocol can actually save money in the long run, which is an added incentive to employers
Tech Industry Leading the Way
The tech industry has been on the front lines of providing flexible schedules and telecommuting opportunities for its workforce. That makes perfect sense when you consider the fact that most tech companies are web based in the first place and that technology is the greatest resource when working from home. Video chats, conference calls, VPN networks and wireless web access all allow workers to remain connected as though we are sitting in the next office cubicle rather than miles away at home.
Tech also is experiencing a shortage of skilled job applicants, so hiring remote workers deepens the talent pool. In high tech companies, much of the work is done online anyway. As a result, the physical location of the employee is relatively unimportant, as long as they have a reliable high-speed Internet connection.
Work at home employees are more prevalent in the tech sphere, although they are beginning to become more common in a number of different industries. Tech jobs such as developers and programmers require a strong attention to detail and long hours of focus. Working from home reduces the number of distractions workers face, allowing them to be more productive during work hours.
For employees who can’t afford to be distracted throughout the work day, having a controlled environment such as their own home can be the breakthrough to their productivity that they’ve been searching for. Working from home allows some workers to minimize distractions so they can spent more time focused on a project. Their employers benefit by having projects completed in shorter amounts of time and with fewer mistakes.
Not for Everybody
When it comes to each company’s policy on working from home, everybody is unique. Productivity and overall success of remote employees depends entirely on individual work styles. That’s also the reason it’s difficult to find a lot of solid data about how productive people are at home. Based on anecdotes, it seems to boil down to personality types and the kinds of jobs people do.
Everybody is different, and some people can’t get their minds around the idea of getting work done when there are chores that need to be done or that their TV is beckoning. Other people find it nearly impossible to stay focused in the office amid all the cross-chatter and other constant distractions.
Your success in working from home could depend on the type of work you do. In a study conducted by the University of Illinois, researchers determined that telecommuters performed just as well as their co-workers who remained in the office. According to the study, people who worked at home want to be seen as “good citizens” within their companies in order to justify their flexible work arrangements.
Benefits to Employers
Workers aren’t the only ones benefiting from work at home situations. Companies can benefit as well. For employees, telecommuting can cut down on employee absences, increase productivity and even save money. This is one of the big reasons working at home is so prevalent in the tech sphere. Tech companies have the infrastructure to maintain remote workers. With telecommuting, the concept of office space is changing in many different industries besides tech as well.
By allowing workers to stay home, you can bring on board some of the most elite people in your industry without having to limit yourself to geographical restrictions. In many instances, remote workers’ production rate is higher because they are better equipped to avoid distractions. The benefits also can extend to the bottom line because telecommuting saves on equipment expenses, as well as electricity and other utilities.
In fact, opening the talent pool seems to be one of the most lucrative employer benefits when it comes to a work from home policy. Companies can attract very talented workers who want to live the freelance lifestyle without having to fish for work on their own.
For other companies, working from home can build more hours into the work day. This is especially true for small businesses and new companies that can’t afford to waste even a single minute of the work day. Be removing the time workers spend commuting, workers are more productive and can spend more time on the job.