Traffic stinks. It can change the whole vibe of your day. And, for many people who wake up and get ready for work feeling highly productive and in a great mood, sitting in the car for 30 minutes longer than usual can make them go from enthusiastic to drained during a single car ride.
The desire to avoid traffic and long commutes is part of the reason so many people find telecommuting so enticing. FlexJobs recently polled 1,500 workers, asking them about their work preferences. The Flexjobs survey found that more than half of respondents (54 percent) prefer to work on important job-related assignments at home, rather than in a brick and mortar office building.
What about the remaining bunch of survey participants? Well, 18 percent of them said they would prefer to work in the brick and mortar office, but only outside of standard working hours and surprisingly, only about one in five (19 percent) said they would prefer a good old fashioned office environment, where they work on their assignments during traditional business hours.
When people think of “flexible work arrangements,” they may think only of telecommuting. That is, working from home at least part of the time. Around four out of five (79 percent) of survey respondents said they would be open to working from home 100 percent of the time. There are other types of flexible work arrangement out there these days, as well. According to the survey, “the second most popular choice is to have an alternative or flexible schedule (47%), followed by a partial telecommuting job (44%), part-time job arrangement (45%), and freelance contracts (39%) are also in demand.”
What would you give up to work at home?
Would you take less pay if it meant you were able to work from home each day? If so, how much less pay? You may be surprised to hear that one out of five survey respondents said they would be willing to take a 10 percent pay cut (from $50,000 to $45,000 or from $100,000 to $90,000, for instance) to be able to telecommute.
It wasn’t just pay people were willing to give up either. Twenty-two percent of survey respondents said they would be willing to give up benefits, like medical insurance, and 18 percent said they would be willing to give up their time and work more hours.
The survey also found that “82% of respondents said that they would be more loyal to their employers if they had flexible work options. [Thirty-nine percent] have turned down a promotion, not taken or have quit a job because of a lack of flexible work options.”
Why do people think they would be better off working from home?
Would you prefer to be a telecommuter? If so, why? The No. 1 reason the survey respondents named was work-life balance. Cost savings, time savings, and, of course, commute are also reasons survey participants named. With three out of four (76 percent) having a daily round-trip commute of over an hour, it’s no surprise they’d want to seek options to reduce or eliminate this five hour per week drive.
When FlexJobs asked survey respondents why they think they would be more productive at home than in a traditional office, the number one response was a reduction in office politics, with 61 percent of those surveyed feeling these politics slowed them down on-the-job.
The second most common reason was the stress resulting from the daily commute. Sixty percent of survey respondents felt that reducing stress from commuting would help them work better. Some respondents (21 percent) drive over 3 hours per day round trip, which could create stress for anyone. Another common response was “decreased interruptions from colleagues,” with 59 percent of respondents citing such interruptions as a potential inhibitor to productivity.
Finding a work from home job
Scams are a huge problem for those seeking a work-from-home position. It’s so bad, in fact, that when posting or searching for position people often write in “legitimate telecommuting job” or “legitimate work from home opportunity” to try and draw a distinction. Unfortunately, however, even the word “legitimate” does not provide any real guarantee.
The survey found that “for every one legitimate work from home job available online, there are 60-70 scams. The vast majority of respondents has encountered at least one scam during their job searches.” You can protect yourself by regularly visiting the FTC’s Scam Alert website during your job search, remaining vigilant, and by only searching for jobs on reputable websites.
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