Let's be honest -- commuting isn't at the top of most people's list of favorite things. And this winter's rash of stormy weather and treacherous roads made the idea of the home office not only appealing, but in some instances necessary for safety's sake.
Studies have shown that options for flexible work not only make companies more attractive to prospective job candidates, but can contribute to a more productive workplace.
So who exactly is doing the most telecommuting? A recent survey from Flex+Strategy Group polled 556 full-time employees and found that 31 percent work remotely. The research held that gender and age stereotypes of employees who work remotely actually don't carry much weight. Some takeaways:
- Generation Y (18-29) makes up 35 percent of telecommuters, 30 percent are Generation X (30-49) and 30 percent are Baby Boomers, a group that the survey characterizes as 50 plus.
- Thirty-five percent are parents and 29 percent don't have children.
- Three out of 4 flex workers are men, and women are more likely than their male colleagues to work in open office spaces and cubicles.
- Thirty-six percent of men say they get most of their work done remotely, compared with 23 percent of women. But 43 percent women completed most of their work in their cubes or open office compared to 27 percent of men. 42 percent of cubicle workers agreed with the statement "I have less work life flexibility now than at this time last year," while 31 percent of telecommuters and 22 percent of employees with private offices said the same.
A Harris Interactive poll of 2,219 employees that was taken around this time last year (following the headlines made about Marissa Mayer's decision to do away with flex work options at Yahoo) found similar results. A third of full-time employees said they worked from home, and 37 percent men said they worked remotely compared to 31 percent of women.
The question remains, do companies have a responsibility to provide options for flexible work? Of course every industry is different -- some may see it as a necessity, while other types of management could view it as a hindrance. While companies like Yahoo took a fairly hard stance, Xerox, Dell and Aetna are among 100 companies that FlexJobs identified as having the most opportunities for remote work.
We want to hear from you. Do you telecommute or have remote work options for your employees? Why or why not?