Bull Bear Report Apr 26 2011

Bringing Your Home to Work

By kelly eggers

Nothing to wear to work? Try a bathrobe.

From dress pants and loafers to sweatpants and slippers, many staffers are trading their corporate desks for home offices -- a growing trend among employees looking to cut their commutes, expenses, and in-office distractions for a better work-life balance.

In FINS.com's informal online question forum Sign or Decline, 92% of 226 respondents said that they'd accept a dream-job offer with a company that has no office, requiring them to work remotely. A scant 8% of those who answered said working from home would be a deal-breaker.

With new devices that allow broadband and company intranet access from virtually anywhere -- smartphones, tablets, and even technology that lets your car recite your e-mails -- it seems that in many cases the traditional office is becoming obsolete.

"What we have heard a lot is that employees don't want to be strapped to a desk if their job can be done anywhere," says Cindy Auten, general manager of Telework Exchange, a Washington, D.C.-area remote-work research and consulting firm.

Recent studies from the firm have found that remote workers report shorter workdays and increased productivity than traditional staff, and employers say they have higher recruitment and retention rates and lower overall expenses.

"We hear often from job seekers who are willing to take lower pay to work from home," says Auten, supporting 2008 research from Dice Holdings that found 37% of IT workers would take a 10% pay cut if it meant they could work from home.

For those of you already packing up your desks, proceed with caution: Working from home full-time isn't for everyone.

"You have to be extremely disciplined to get the work done," says Leslie Truex, author of The Work at Home Success Bible. She cautions that some telecommuters have reported they miss hearing about things like promotions or office politics that help them feel included, and those working from home are often asked by friends and neighbors for favors throughout the day.

"It used to be said that telecommuters weren't as serious about their jobs, but recently that has been changing," says Truex. "You have to tell people that just because you're at home doesn't mean you're not working."

What Would You Do?

Answer the question and see how you match up with the rest of the FINS community.

You've just been offered your dream job, but... there is no company office -- you have to work remotely.

Sign ...or... Decline

Write to Kelly Eggers

Sign or Decline is a series of questions on FINS.com that ask what you would do for your dream job. Since launch, late last year, over 100,000 answers have been received and compiled in our database. Participate in Sign or Decline here.

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