Telecommuting is on the rise. As the number of folks who work from home increases, new data begin to emerge about their experience. If you’re considering telecommuting at some point in the future, the results of a recent survey should be of interest to you.
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Earlier this year, the firm Leadership IQ surveyed over 3,000 employers to try to learn a bit more about how telecommuters, mobile workers (folks who are in and out of the office), and traditional office workers compare and contrast. Recently, Leadership IQ founder Mark Murphy wrote about the results of his company’s study in Forbes. Let’s take a look at a few of the key findings.
1. People who work from home are almost twice as likely to love their jobs.
According to this study, folks who work from home are 87 percent more likely to love their jobs than people who don’t. When asked how they felt about their jobs, only 24 percent of traditional office workers said that they loved it. Mobile workers, who spend some time working in the office and other time working elsewhere, said they felt the same 38 percent of the time; a significant increase. However, an impressive 45 percent of telecommuters reported loving their job, almost twice the rate reported by office workers.
The flexibility and independence remote workers experience is pretty compelling. In fact, being divorced from the traditional conventions of office life even causes some to wonder if they could ever return.
“I’ve been doing the job this way for so long,” Patti McCreary, a telecommuter from San Diego told USA Today, “if I couldn’t telecommute, I wouldn’t do it at all. I have no interest in ever going to an office again. Dress up every day? Horrible!”
2. Traditional office workers were more than 3 times as likely to hate or dislike their job as telecommuters.
The pattern held up on the other side of the spectrum as well. Four percent of office workers reported hating their jobs, and 3 percent said that they disliked it. (Other potential answers included the above-mentioned “love,” “like,” and “tolerate.”) Among telecommuters, on the other hand, 1 percent reported disliking their job, and another 1 percent said that they hated it.
Given statistics like the ones in this study, it’s easy to understand why some believe that 40 percent of the workforce will be freelancing by 2020.
3. Telecommuters aim higher.
The survey also asked respondents about some of their work habits and opinions in an attempt to assess their level of determination and ambition. Seventy-one percent of telecommuters said that “being ‘average’ in my work is a terrible thought,” whereas 65 percent of office workers felt the same. Along those same lines, 29 percent of telecommuters agreed, “I like to be good at my work but I don’t need to be the absolute ‘best’,” and so did 35 percent of traditional workers.
Perhaps their drive is part of the reason 87 percent of telecommuters also reported meeting their deadlines, no matter what, whereas 76 percent of office workers said the same. Or, more likely, perhaps the ability to focus without the disruptions of co-workers, commuting, etc., helps those who work from home hit their goals more easily.
The results of this study give us all something to think about. There are many benefits to working from home, although there are significant downsides to consider as well if you’re thinking about making a switch. Be sure to check out the article and the full results from this survey, for more information.
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