Time To Go Home? 76% Of Workers Avoid The Office For Productivity’s Sake

August 31, 2015  |  

Some people view working from home as a company perk but for many employees it’s a necessity — if they actually want to get work done. FlexJobs‘ 4th annual career survey found 76 percent of more than 2,600 respondents avoid the office when they need to focus on important projects.

When breaking down the study’s responses on office vs. home preferences, the details reveal less than a quarter of the workforce actually prefer the standard office hours and workplace for productivity. Half of the employees surveyed stated their home was the best place for productivity. A coffee shop or co-working space was favored by 12 percent and 14 percent would actually go to the office, but outside of the 9-5 work hours.

“The results of this survey unfortunately confirm that there is a serious problem with how our workplaces support–or more accurately, don’t support–an optimal environment for productivity, and this is a real loss in both opportunity and revenue for companies,” said Sara Sutton Fell, Founder and CEO of FlexJobs, the leading online service for professionals seeking flexible work opportunities. “Companies need to take a serious look at their telecommuting policies and how they can help to harness the benefits telecommuting offers them.”

The traditional office culture is no longer the most desirable set up. Speaking from experience, transitioning into full-time telecommuting and freelance work is not always easy, but typically always worth it. The number one reason individuals surveyed desired a more flexible job and telecommuting options was to reach a better level of work-life balance, with health being a growing concern.

So, other than the desire to achieve a better work-life balance, why are so many people opting out of the office? Fewer interruptions from colleagues (76 percent), fewer distractions (74 percent), minimal office politics (71 percent), reduced stress from commuting (68 percent) and more comfortable office environment (65 percent).

The American workforce is changing, the 25- to 30-year stays at one employer are long gone and employees are putting their health and time first, even if that means a change in income. In 1995, only 9 percent of the American workforce worked from home, now 37 percent of U.S. workers telecommute.

“Time savings has outranked cost savings as a factor in seeking flexible work for the past three years, indicating people may place a higher value on their time vs money,” wrote Kathy Gardner of FlexJobs.

Clearly, not all industries benefit from telecommuting options. And for good reasons, I wouldn’t want my doctor to take office visits via Skype. But the truth is, the workplace and desires of employees are evolving.

Where you do you get your best work done, at home or the office?



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