Survey: 93% of Workers Say They’re Most Productive Working Remotely

Reasons for a Work, Life, Balance

Where do you go when you have a really important work task or project to do? If you’re like 93% of people, your answer isn’t the office. According to a FlexJobs survey of over 3,100 professionals, just 7% of workers say the office is their location of choice if they need to be most productive on important work-related projects.

More than half (51%) of respondents said that their home is their preferred place to work. 8% said they would choose a coffee shop, coworking space, library or other place besides the office and another 8 % would choose the office but only outside regular hours. 26% go to the office during regular hours to complete important work because it’s not an option to leave.

Flexible Work Options and Productivity

According to FlexJobs’ survey, 65% of workers think they would be more productive telecommuting than working in a traditional workplace.

The top reasons people are, or would be, most productive working at home versus the office includes:

  • Fewer interruptions from colleagues (76%)
  • Fewer distractions (75%)
  • Less frequent meetings (69%)
  • A reduction in office politics (68%)
  • Reduced stress from commuting (67%)
  • A more comfortable office environment (51%)

Who’s Seeking Flexible Work Options and Why

We often assume that flexible work appeals to a wide variety of professionals for different reasons, but this survey really shows how true that is.

Survey respondents identified themselves as:

  • Working parents (39%)
  • Freelancers (26%)
  • Introverts (2 %)
  • Entrepreneurs (20%)
  • Caretakers (16%)
  • Travellers/digital nomads (11%)
  • Disabled or managing a chronic illness (11%)
  • Students (9 %)
  • Environmentalists (4.4%)
  • Military spouses (2%)

When asked WHY they want or need flexible work options, people said:

  • They need to pay for basic necessities (80%)
  • They want to travel (58%)
  • They need to save for retirement (65%)
  • They need to pay off debt (59%)
  • They want to have a professional impact in the world (41%)
  • They want to contribute to charity (28%)
  • They need to pay for continuing education for themselves (25%)

Respondents were asked to rank the most important factors of a job when evaluating a job prospect.

The top factors included:

  • Work flexibility (80%)
  • Work-life balance and salary tied (74%)
  • Health insurance (43%)
  • Company reputation (41%)
  • 401(k)/retirement benefits (31%)

Flexible work has also played a role in why people leave jobs and seek new opportunities:

  • 33% reported having left a job because it did not have work flexibility
  • 14% have considered leaving a job because it did not have work flexibility
  • 18% are currently looking for a new job because of work flexibility issues

In fact, flexible work options have become so important to people that very few worry about whether or not getting a flexible job will negatively impact the trajectory of their careers. Only 3% of respondents worry “a lot” that a flexible work arrangement will hurt their career progression.

What People Would Trade to Work from Home

Professionals reported being willing to make trades in exchange for telecommuting options:

  • 29% of respondents said they would take a 10% or 20% cut in pay
  • 22% are willing to forfeit holiday allowances
  • 15% said they would give up employer-matching retirement contributions
  • 81% of respondents also say they would be more loyal to their employers if they had flexible work options

Reasons for Wanting Flexible Work

Since 2013, four reasons for wanting flexible work options have dominated co-working surveys

  • Work-life balance (79 %)
  • Family (52 %)
  • Time savings (48 %)
  • Commute stress (47 %)

Telecommuting remains the most popular form of flexible work, and those who’ve already worked remotely are increasing the amount of time they spend working from home. Of those who telecommuted in 2015, 22% telecommuted more this year than last year.

It is becoming very apparent that there is a global shift in working patterns, with an almost mass exodus of workers to flexible arrangements and a rising dissatisfaction with the traditional office setup. This shifting consciousness is such a strong influence at the moment that firms are being compelled to take flexible working very seriously indeed.