Workers Want to Work from Home and Office

July 19, 2006 ( - Twenty-three percent of US employees work from home or are given the option to do so, and almost 60% of workers say that working from home at least part time would be ideal, according to a recent survey.

As new technologies make working away from the office easier, survey after survey has commented on how both employees and employers view telecommuting and what effects it might have on productivity.

The survey by Hudson Highland Group found that some workers say working at home part-time would be ideal – 38% said they think a mix of coming into the office and working from home is preferable and 21% say working at home is the best.

The survey of almost 2000 US workers found that 20% rarely or never choose to work from home even if their employer offers them the option.

Even if workers are allowed to work from home, the Hudson survey found that just 20% rarely or never use the option. Another survey by the National Technology Readiness Survey released in July found that less than half of the workers able to telecommute work outside the office (See Some Potential Telecommuters Turn Down Opportunity ).

“As competition for talent heats up, employers will be forced to consider alternative retention tactics such as permitting telecommuting,” said Peg Buchenroth, managing director of compensation and benefits for Hudson, in a release. “While this is not feasible in all situations, most employees want the flexibility to be able to get work done without going into the office at least every once in a while.”

The survey also addressed the productivity of workers during their commute to work and found that despite technologies that allow employees to do work while commuting, 73% rarely or never get work done during their commute. The response differed for entrepreneurs – 57% said they do not get work done during that time.

Other survey findings include:

  • Managers are more likely than non-managers to have the option of telecommuting (20% compared to 10%).
  • While 29% of all employees work from home more than once a week, the figure rises to 40% among workers with children at home.
  • Nearly two in five (37%) entrepreneurs said they consider always working from home to be the ideal work situation.
  • 83% said face-to-face meetings are the most productive, while 10% said virtual meetings are more productive.