Blog Post

Telecommuting is worth serious sacrifices: Valentine’s Day edition

Last year Staples asked telecommuters exactly how much the flexibility of being out of the office was worth to them and discovered people were prepared to make some pretty significant sacrifices to keep working remotely. One in five told pollsters they’d give up 20 percent of their pay and more than half were willing to permanently shut off their favorite TV show.

Now, online meetings software firm TeamViewer is following in Staples’ footsteps, asking essentially the same question of 2,500 Americans and finding them willing to make even more surprising sacrifices for the chance to telecommute. The results confirm that most of us believe telecommuting is on the rise – 83 percent of respondents thought so – and also that there’s an unmet appetite for more flexible work arrangements out there. Sixty-two percent of those surveyed said they believe that more people want the option to telecommute.

More surprising perhaps were the things people were willing to give up to work away from the office. TeamViewer says survey respondents were willing to sacrifice:

  • Social media – 34 percent
  • Chocolate – 29 percent
  • Smartphone – 25 percent
  • A salary increase – 17 percent
  • Half of their vacation days – 15 percent
  • Daily showers – 12 percent

If the lack of concern for personal hygiene expressed by more than one-in-ten Americans has you concerned than be warned that we haven’t even gotten to the Valentine’s Day twist yet, and it’s probably more shocking. Everyone may be running around buying roses and chocolates today, but a small minority of Americans told TeamViewer they’re feeling less romantic than most. Five percent of respondents said they’d even give up their spouse to telecommute.

These folks probably don’t have exactly ideal marriages in the first place, so we’ll file that finding in the entertaining trivia folder. Nonetheless the results overall are another piece of evidence that the national appetite for remote work is expanding, creating pent up demand for flexibility.

What would you give up to telecommute?

Image courtesy of Flickr user terren in Virginia.

4 Responses to “Telecommuting is worth serious sacrifices: Valentine’s Day edition”

  1. Although remote work seems like heaven for some people (probably commuting 2 hours per day), I think there are also downsides to it. If I quote a part of the ISL Online’s blog post: “Of the negative outcomes associated with telework, less frequent information exchange relative to office-based employees and the potential for teleworkers to become isolated are the most commonly cited. Being physically separated from coworkers, teleworkers tend to miss out on informal learning opportunities, peer interactions critical to career development, interpersonal networking, access to supervisors and colleagues, and the transfer of tacit knowledge.” The rest of it is here:
    That’s logical if you think about it. That extra daily coffee breaks and chit chats at lunch can’t really replace virtual messaging. And besides, give those 29% of respondents a few days before they re-start shoveling in tons of chocolate ;)

  2. Mosaic Technology

    I wonder if that 5% is a reflection of how badly these individuals want to telecommute, or how easily they’d give up their spouses. Either way, telecommuting is clearly on the rise, and it will be interesting to see if it becomes much more widely adopted in 2012. Telecommuting could revolutionize the workplace.

    Mosaic Technology