How Badly Do You Want to Work at Home?

Illustration for article titled How Badly Do You Want to Work at Home?

How badly do you want to be a telecommuter? It may seem preferable to a lengthy drive followed by sitting in a cubicle hive for hours at a time, while being forced to endure the banal conversations of those around you as you try to get things done. But just how much would you give up to get it?


It turns out, according to a survey done by TeamViewer, an online communications provider, and Harris interactive, that people would be willing to give up an awful lot to get the chance to work in their pajamas and never leave their house. Here's some of what the 2,600+ people surveyed said they'd trade for the chance to become an unkempt hermit:

-29 percent of people would give up chocolate
-25 percent would give up their smartphone
-20 percent would give up shopping
-34 percent would give up social media
-30 percent would give up texting

Hmm, that is interesting, but also oddly useless, because it's not like you can just trade in your chocolate bars or your smartphone for a new job that let's you telecommute. What would make more sense is trading salary or benefits for flexibility, which respondents did say they'd do. Seventeen percent would give up a salary increase, and 15 percent would give up half of their vacation days for the opportunity to work from home. Or you might not have to trade anything if you could prove to your employer that it would save them money and make you more productive—but you could always offer to give up wearing the color green or to never watch another DVD as long as you live, if you think it would sweeten the deal.

Strangely, 12 percent of people said they'd give up daily showers if they could telecommute, and five percent said they would divorce their spouse. Wow, the picture of this person sitting in their home office—unwashed, divorced, and with no way to connect with their friends—is getting kind of depressing. But on the bright side, they'd probably be a very productive employee, since they'd have absolutely no distractions and could be available to work 24 hours a day.

Employees Would Give Up Showers and Spouses to Work from Home [LiveScience]

Image via StockLite/Shutterstock.



My husband's job could easily be done via telecommuting (and he is sometimes actually ordered to work from home in rare circumstances where the building he normally works in is unavailable—it's in a busy downtown area so sometimes other events in the vicinity shut everything down) but his bosses are massive assholes about actually making a telecommuting or flextime policy. It just seems like one of those things where some people are just so invested on "the way it has always been" (because that way has always afforded them a lot of power and authority) that even the reality that having fewer people physically in the office would cost the company much less, they cling to it.

Meanwhile, I work from home at my discretion (within undefined reason) but I am currently terrified to ask for a two-day-a-week flextime schedule for a few months after I go back to work following maternity leave. I work for academics for whom working from home is no big deal but I feel like someone in my lowly worm-like position would be seen as having no right to ask for such things.