Can you imaging workers’ giving up a raise? Sacrificing half their vacation days?
Those are just some of the things American adults said they would trade for the ability to telecommute to work. That’s right, 17% said they would rather telecommute than enjoy a bigger paycheck, and 15% said they’d trade vacation time for that flexibility.
More than a third of the 2,500 American adults that Harris Interactive surveyed said they would trade social media for the ability to telecommute. Thirty percent would give up texting, and 29% would go without chocolate. A handful said they would do without a daily shower or give up their spouse, in the survey conducted for TeamViewer, which provides remote control and online meetings software.
I wouldn’t go quite that far—I love chocolate, hot showers and my spouse—but I have enjoyed the benefits of telecommuting in one way or another for more than a decade. I gave up a the stress of a daily commute on the Washington, D.C. beltway to start my mornings by seeing the mist rise off the Great Smoky Mountains. Instead of sitting in traffic, I climb 16 steps to my office.
In the TeamViewer survey, 54% of people estimated that they would be at least somewhat more productive telecommuting compared with working in an office, and 32% said they would be more or much more productive. Several studies have found increased productivity with telecommuting, but employees given the opportunity to do that sometimes change their minds.
TeamViewer offers these tips for successful telecommuting:
- Ease into it. Start with one day a week. That will allow you to judge whether it is manageable and worthwhile.
- Create constant communication. Office workers should be able to reach telecommuters easily.
- Have a “second-in-command.” If the telecommuter also has a flexible schedule, ensure that someone else can act for that person if something urgent crops up.
The success of telecommuting depends on several factors, including the employees, type of work, available support and attitudes of those employees who remain in the office. We’d like to hear about your experiences with telecommuting.
If you have been a telecommuter or supervised employees who telecommute, please tell us about your experience.