By Bruce Apar
When working-age folks (which these days is just about any age older than school age) are at home weekdays, all kinds of assumptions can be made. These days, a lot of those assumptions would be wrong. No, she is not unemployed. No, he is not self-employed.
More than 10% of Americans work from home, many of them in the employ of a company. It’s a gathering trend that also goes by the euphemism “working remotely.”
In a survey of computer program developers (also known as coders), it was revealed that coders working remotely earned on average a higher salary than their counterparts who did their thing in an office.
The higher income for remote employees is not true for all types of work, though. People whose profession lends itself easily to freelancing — telemarketers or creatives like writers and designers — may not fare as well in the compensation department as those in comparable positions in an office.
Seniority helps, too. According to the survey, reported by Quincy Larson of “FreeCodeCamp” on Medium.com, developers with more than 10 years under their belts “are twice as likely to work remotely as newcomers.” The more experienced and valuable the employee, the more apt an employer is to be flexible in granting desirable work conditions.
Mr. Larson cites a study by Stanford University researchers from a few years ago that examined the work habits of almost 250 people in service jobs. One Stanford finding debunks the logical assumption that working from home reduces productivity (given the distractions at hand)—the at-home workers surveyed were 13% more productive than on-site workers. They worked longer shifts, went on fewer breaks and took fewer sick days.
Moreover, the “remotes” were half as likely to quit as office workers and were more satisfied in their work. On the other hand, in the “out of sight, out of mind” category, the remote employees were 50% less likely than those in the office to earn a promotion.
In researching this article (at home, where I work full time), I came across WeWorkRemotely.com. The site touts itself as “the best place to find and list jobs that aren’t restricted by commutes or geographic area.”
There’s a book promoted on the site titled Remote: Office Not Required. Some of the hard-to-argue points made on its cover blurb include “The most talented people don’t all live in one place” and “The modern office has become an interruption factory.”
A cute essay, also on Medium.com, by Janessa Lantz identifies, tongue-in-cheek, certain drawbacks to working at home. I could relate to one or two, like not being fully dressed or showered on a day when you realize, too late, that you have a conference call in five minutes, and it’s a video conference call.
Bruce Apar is Chief Content Officer of Google Partner Agency, Pinpoint Marketing & Design, as well as an actor and a regular contributor to several periodicals. Follow him as Bruce The Blog on social media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (914) 275-6887.