Some Would Divorce in Order to Telecommute

By Aliah D. Wright Feb 14, 2012

In a recent survey of more than 2,600 Americans ages 18 and older by software firm TeamViewer, a large percentage say they would be willing to give up daily showers, social media, texting, chocolate, a pay raise—and even their spouse—in order to work from home.

In its survey, TeamViewer discovered 62 percent of Americans want the option to telecommute, and 83 percent believe that telecommuting is on the rise.

Estimates of U.S. telecommuters vary widely. According to the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) 2010 Employee Benefits survey, while 55 percent of employers offered telecommuting, only 17 percent offered it on a full-time basis.

Experts say carefully considered and well-implemented telework initiatives can save companies money on infrastructure, transportation and other costs.

“While the survey findings are humorous, it really shows the importance of telework and demonstrates how much people value their time,” Cindy Auten, general manager of the Telework Exchange, told SHRM Online. “We prefer to think of telework in terms of savings of time and money, rather than sacrifice. Telework Week, coming up March 5-9, 2012, is already expected to collectively save teleworkers more than $1 million in just one week. Reducing costs and improving work/life balance—these benefits are what really count to organizations and employees, and telework supports these priority objectives.”

Telework Week is an annual effort to encourage companies to telework. In 2011, nearly 40,000 people participated nationwide.

The desire to work from home is so strong that some respondents to the TeamViewer survey said they would be willing to abandon:

  • Social media—34 percent.
  • Texting—30 percent.
  • Chocolate—29 percent.
  • Smart phones—25 percent.
  • Shopping—20 percent.
  • A salary increase—17 percent.
  • Half of their vacation days—15 percent.

About 12 percent said they would give up showering every day, with women (14 percent) willing to give up their daily shower vs. 10 percent of men who said they would do the same. About 5 percent said they would give up their spouse (insert your own joke here).

“While the results of this survey may seem amusing, these findings show that telecommuting will be a force to be reckoned with in the future,” Holger Felgner, general manager at TeamViewer, stated in a release.

Harris Interactive, which conducted the TeamViewer survey in January 2012, found that 83 percent of survey participants believe that the expanded usage of technology is leading to a rise in telecommuting.

The survey found that Americans believe that:

  • Smart phones and tablets are increasing the use of telecommuting—53 percent.
  • Telecommuting is getting easier—49 percent.
  • Telecommuting is increasing in small businesses—30 percent.

When asked how telecommuting would change their behavior, 54 percent said they would be at least somewhat more productive and almost a third said they would be more or much more productive.​​


Job Finder

Find an HR Job Near You
Post a Job


Find the Right Vendor for Your HR Needs

SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 10,000 companies

Search & Connect