Working from home is becoming more common, more accepted by managers and more sought-after by employees than ever before, according to a survey conducted by Skype, one of the bastions of telecommuting technology.
As someone who regularly works from home, I find this trend hardly surprising. But it’s not just bloggers, startup types and technophiles who are making pajamas the new “business casual.” Even seasoned executive types (like my own father, for example) are logging in remotely these days.
The proliferation of online collaboration tools is one indicator that “WFH” (that’s short for “working from home,” my dad tells me) culture is blossoming. In fact, Skype and tools like it have pretty much made the necessity of a 9-to-5 physical presence behind a cubicle-bound desk obsolete.
And video capabilities are a large part of those tools. Video conferencing and desktop video are two communication technologies Skype expects to see increase in usage most over a two-year period, followed byVoIP, room-based video, mobile phones and instant messaging.
Given the widening availability, affordability and understanding of technologies such as VoIP and video, the time is right for remote working and working from home. According to Skype’s survey, which includes responses from 1,000 professionals at about 500 businesses of all sizes, flexibility on in-office presence is, indeed, becoming the norm.
Around 62% of the companies surveyed already allow employees to work remotely. Of these companies, 34% of their workforce occasionally works remotely, and of that 34%, WFH-enabled employees say they spend around 40% of their work hours at home.
Naturally, employees at WFH-friendly companies listed this area of flexibility high in their criteria for job satisfaction. But employers seemed to be fans of the WFH lifestyle, too. Of the respondents who were decision-makers and managers, 75% said working from home was becoming more acceptable, and 56% said workers-from-home were more productive.
Take a look at Skype’s full report, and in the comments, let us know what your WFH options are like. Are you a couch-bound working warrior? Or are you fairly chained to your desk at the office?