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Nearly Three Out Of Four Workers Would Rather Telecommute

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 9/4/2013

Kona study shows that employees prefer telecommuting opportunities despite employer debate about the pros and cons of remote work.

Earlier this year, Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer made news when she ended the company's popular work-from-home policy. Although Mayer was quick to point out that the change shouldn't be interpreted as part of a larger industry narrative, she defended her decision by saying that people are more collaborative and innovative when they are together--two characteristics that she felt Yahoo! needed.

Telecommuting Preferences for Small Business Employees

But regardless of her intent, the move launched a debate about the pros and cons of telecommuting. Recently, social collaboration provider, Kona, released the results of a study highlighting public sentiment about remote work opportunities.

According to the study, 70 percent of employees would rather telecommute than work in the office. Employees between the ages of 35 and 44 indicated the strongest preference for telecommuting options (81%), while just 66 percent of workers between the ages of 18 and 24 prefer remote work.

The study also found that remote work scenarios tend to create jealousy in the workplace. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said that working remotely causes jealousy among their colleagues, with the number jumping to 65 percent of workers over the age of 65. Additionally, 75 percent of workers who earn more than $100k per year are jealous of colleagues that telecommute.

"Innovation combined with the right leadership, processes and people allows businesses to be more adaptable to the needs of their teams, spurring a more productive environment -- whether that's a traditional, virtual or hybrid work setting," said Scott DeFusco, vice president of Product Strategy and Management at Kona.

Small business owners understand the importance of building the right company culture. In some companies, telecommuting can enhance company culture and deliver a more productive workforce, while in other small businesses telecommuting may run counter to the company's goals and objectives.

So for small business owners and executives, it's critical to balance employees' desire for remote work opportunities with a clear understanding of the impact remote work scenarios will have on both the company and the in-office workforce.

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