harris poll logoWhile many employers perceive telecommuters are lazy, low-production employees (here’s looking at you, Yahoo), workers tend to agree that working from home provides needed schedule flexibility and a better work-life balance. The Harris Poll takes a look at some of the prevailing perceptions of telecommuting in a recent online survey that found 90 percent of employees seeing telecommuting as a positive trend. Unsurprisingly, the poll found that people are already working from home, even if they aren’t being paid for it.

A full one-third of non-self-employed workers spend at least some time during business hours working from home, and 9 percent are solely or primarily telecommuters. An additional 8 percent spend half of their working hours at home and 17 percent spend less than 50 percent of their time working from home. The remainder of the population, 66 percent, does not work from home at all.

Employees aged 18 to 34 (40 percent) are much more likely to work from home than those aged 35 to 44 (27 percent), while one-third of workers aged 45 to 54 and 37 percent of those 55 and older spend at least some time working from home. And while the common perception that parents are more likely to work from home (especially mothers) than the general population has some truth (41 percent to 31 percent), men are more likely to work from home than women (37 percent compared to 31 percent).

As far as attitudes go, the survey found that women are more likely to agree with positive statements about telecommuting than men. Workers with dependent children are more likely to take or stay at a job that offers telecommuting. And men are more likely than women to agree that a traditional office setting improves communication and collaborative efforts.

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