A new survey from FlexJobs finds that “only 7 percent of workers say the office, during traditional work hours, is their location of choice for optimum productivity on work-related projects”:
More than half (51 percent) of people reported that their home is their preferred place to work. 8 percent said they would choose a coffee shop, coworking space, library, or other place besides the office and another 8 percent would choose the office but only outside regular hours. 26 percent go to the office during regular hours to complete important work only because it’s not an option to go elsewhere.
According to FlexJobs’ survey, 65 percent of workers think they would be more productive telecommuting than working in a traditional workplace. The top reasons people are, or would be, more productive working at home versus the office include fewer interruptions from colleagues (76 percent), fewer distractions (75 percent), and less frequent meetings (69 percent). It’s estimated that up to six hours a day are lost on work interruptions, wasting 28 billion hours a year. Other reasons people prefer their home office include a reduction in office politics (68 percent), reduced stress from commuting (67 percent), and a more comfortable office environment (51 percent).
As a job search site for telecommuting opportunities, FlexJobs of course has an interest in promoting work from home, so these findings should be taken with as much salt as any other vendor survey. Nonetheless, they jibe with what we know about how employees increasingly value flexibility, autonomy, and work-life balance. Our own latest preferences research (which CEB Total Rewards Leadership Council members can read here) finds that employees value increased emphasis on work-life benefits nearly as much as a pay raise. Flexible work-styles are often associated with increased happiness, engagement, and productivity. One recent study found that call center employees in China who worked from home four days a week performed better and were less likely to quit.