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Most Americans Believe Workers Want the Telework Option, Say Telework Is on the Rise

Feb. 17, 2012 — Most Americans believe that more people want the option to telework (62%), and a large percentage (82%) believe that telework is on the rise, according to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive of more than 2,500 American adults ages 18 and older conducted by TeamViewer, a provider of remote control and online meetings software.

Drafted based on TeamViewer’s experience in remote access to the workplace, the survey found that found that Americans believe:

  • Smartphones and tablets are increasing the use of telework (53%)
  • Access to teleworking is increasing (49%)
  • Teleworking is getting easier (49%)
  • The use of telework is increasing in small businesses (30%).

When asked about what Americans believe their own behavior would be as a teleworker versus working in an office every day, more than half (54%) said they would be at least somewhat more productive, and almost one-third (32%) said they would be more or much more productive.

Many Americans also said they would be willing to make sacrifices in order to get the option to telework. Top items Americans say they would be willing to give up include:

  • Social media (34%)
  • Texting (30%)
  • Chocolate (29%)
  • Smartphone (25%)
  • Shopping (20%)
  • A salary increase (17%)
  • Half of vacation days (15%).

Some even admitted to be willing to sacrifice daily showers (12%), with women being more willing to give up their daily showers than men (14% vs. 10%, respectively). A few even said they would be willing to give up their spouse (5%) — a percentage that was fairly consistent across age groups and genders, but not across regions. People in the West were more likely to say they would give up their spouse (7%) in order to telework than people in the Midwest (2%).

"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," said Holger Felgner, general manager at TeamViewer.

The survey was conducted online in the United States from Jan. 12-16, 2012 among 2,630 adults ages 18 and older. The survey is not based on a probability sample and, therefore, no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

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