Tech Pros Can Save a Lot of Cash Working Remotely: Study

Nobody wants to go into an office, and a new study shows that, in addition to avoiding the stench of microwaved fish, working from a remote location (like home) can save tech pros a ton of time (and money).

SimpleTexting examined data from a variety of sources (such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs boards, and Census data) to discover how much time and money we can all save by working from home. The results may not be crowdsourced, but that might be better; who would bother to track how much they’re saving?

Though variable by location, we see a lot of time saved across the United States for remote employees. In San Francisco, workers can save about 270 hours by not going into the office, while New York pros save a whopping 343 hours not commuting.

Remote Work by the Numbers

For drivers, it gets better. Pros in San Francisco can save $478 per year, says SimpleTexting. Atlanta, Georgia residents save the most ($555 per year). As you might have guessed, New York’s heavy public transportation culture keeps it toward the bottom of the heap for gas savings, though we’d imagine that’s offset by Metro cards.

Communication is always critical, more so when working remotely. A recent study showed it’s a top concern for remote employees and their bosses, so it’s no surprise Skype and Slack are the most-used apps for remote employees. Digital task management software Trello is third, followed by Hangouts and Google Drive. All told, communication tools dominate SimpleTexting’s list.

Income is where things get a touch wonky. According to SimpleTexting, a “Back End Developer” working remotely earns more than their in-office counterpart, but a “Developer” earns more when they have a cubicle. There are several reasons this could be true – such as smaller firms paying less to hire remote employees, or remote workers residing outside large cities where income is higher. We don’t see remote jobs paying less as a rule, and companies such as Basecamp are paying each employee on the same scale regardless of where they live.

Our Dice Salary Survey shows salary satisfaction remains steady, so it’s doubtful working remotely actually earns you less as a rule.

Download Dice’s Salary Report Now!

Unfortunately, people still seem diffident in seeking out remote employment. SimpleTexting data shows just under 0.005 percent of job searches are specifically for remote jobs, even though our own data shows over 60 percent of tech pros want to work from home half the time or more. But as salaries plateau, we suggest asking for perks such as the ability to work remotely to get more from your job.

17 Responses to “Tech Pros Can Save a Lot of Cash Working Remotely: Study”

  1. Not even a Metro card can offset keeping New York at the bottom of the heap. So funny about the fish stenched microwaves – so true. Companys are scared to embrace remote worforces because that would mean a support for work/life balance.

  2. David Penney

    I have been working remote for the past 5 years from my home in Florida. For four years I worked as a remote Technical Writer and full time employee for a California high tech. I definitely saved money on that job. I was paid on a California wage scale while enjoying the Florida low cost of living. The other advantage is must less ageism in remote work. Unfortunately my remote position was terminated last summer.

    Since then I tried out of town contract work. The expenses associates with working out of town actually drastically reduced my net income. I will not accept any out of town contract work now.

    I am now working for a Virginia based proposal management company. They only pay me by the project and I can qualify for food stamps on the money I make from them.

    I have been looking for remote tech writing jobs. The openings are scarce and are highly competitive.

    I am trying to establish a free lance business and that is slowly developing. Fortunately I have a retirement income that sustains me while I try to develop the free lancing gigs.

  3. For the last 10 years, I’ve been one of the few office employees of a department full of remote workers. Because I live within driving distance of the office, I’m expected to commute to work each day. I always wondered, if we have the same job title, but I live in an area with a much higher cost of living and I spend more time and money commuting to work each day, are our salaries comparable or are they reduced for the remote workers?

    • Observant One

      No one is paid for commuting to work. They are paid for doing the work. They are paid for their technological knowledge, subject matter expertise and productively adding value to the organization’s goals.

  4. Gregorius T

    Undoubtedly, many more people would work remote, if not for the insecure, power-sensitive management who just can’t get over not being able to see their worker bees seated at their assigned desks, poking away at their assigned keyboards.

    And, I don’t even want to hear this BS about collaboration. Remote workers probably collaborate more than their headphone-wearing, in-office peers.

    A word to the insecure bosses out there, it’s all about productivity. I know, because I’ve been one of those bosses. I would assign my developers their sprint tasks, and say “Go to it, people!”. As to where they worked, I could give a rip. They could work under a freeway overpass, for all I cared.

  5. NoWhatYouThink

    I’ve worked at home a lot. I’m at home right now, my own business. But, if you work for a company out of your house, it’s win win for the company. Not you! All you save is the commute. Here’s the real deal. Big corporations love it! They save on office space, to include, electricity, water from toilet flushes, everything that comes with you being there. Now, they have discovered that people work harder from home and they work more hours too! They have found, almost, all people work harder from home to prove they are working! Yes you work harder from home and more hours.

    The electronic leash! You will log in and be on IM(Instant Messaging) all day. Everyone can see if you are on-line, or off-line. I worked on contract for a company and the telecommute employees hated the IM because it was non stop. Plus the Development Manager made it clear that if your off-line on IM you’re not working.

    I wrote routine for a fried that faked IM into looking like he was on-line in IM, no time out… You can do it without hacking the exchange server. He could go and have a relaxing lunch without the IM leash yanking the back of his brain.

    My approach now. If I work at some company with their computer. When I leave for the day, their computer stays on their desk. I refuse work that must support a 24/7 production system. That’s quality of life.

    Peace at home means “Leaving work at work!”

    • Gregorius T

      The electronic leash does not have to be such a big deal, if you work for a company, and boss, that value work / life balance, which in turn means they value productivity.

      Yes. Productivity is most often proportional to work / life balance.

      Alas, many bosses care more about being able to stand up and look over their cubicle domain. Or, I should say, open office domain, since many companies have now gone in that even more miserable direction for a work environment.

      Progressive, modern bosses care mostly about productivity. As long as the deliverables are being met, and you communicate that the electronic leash will be unclipped at a certain hour ( say, 5 or 6 pm ), then all should be good.

    • If you are on a “leash” check out “Mouse Mover” on iOS OR “Mouse Jiggler/Wiggler/Mover” on Android both of these apps purport to use your old devices to fool your mouse into thinking it is moving. The interaction is optical, so nothing to plug in and no software to install on your work computer. You just put the mouse on top of the iPhone screen. It does not work with all mice, but I have used it for years and it works with all the ones I tried.

  6. Darby Weaver

    I’ve worked remotely for years now and been paid on par by several top named employers who rank in the Fortune 500 and some who are in the top or simply the largest and wealthiest financial companies out there never mind working for the Federal Government on contracts.

    Overall, I save time, energy, and focus. I am able to get the job done with a lot less interference.

    I have meetings that are meaningful and work with my peers as required on projects.

    Excellent lifestyle.

    Darby Weaver
    The Cisco Network Architect

  7. JM Granger

    I would LOVE to work remote, but how in the world does one land such a job. Even agencies in the Creative Industry are reluctant to have remote workers doing temp gigs for them and it’s very frustrating because I’ve already outlaid the money to be able to do everything from my home office! It’s like a lot of companies don’t ‘trust’ employees to work without being under their thumb every second. Problem is, when I’m in an office and it’s time go home, I don’t do anything further for the day. When I work remotely, employers actually get more from me because I sit down again at night after dinner if inspiration strikes me — which 3 days out of 5 in a work week, it happens!

    Would love to hear where these jobs — one with benefits like health/dental/vision insurance, etc… cause I want one! ASAP!

  8. The sad truth is, there are alot of people that feel like their lives are vindicated by going into an office. And the stupid large corporations with all their finance people cannot even see the value in saving on an office, cubicles, supplies, office outings, etc etc etc etc. The majority of people I used to work with thought it was weird to want to work from home. All I have to say is, what a weird world that defines themselves by cubicles when ALL of us know that people who go into an office MAYBE work 3-4 hours a day: the rest is Starbucks, Facebook, Stand-up Meetings in the kitchen around rotting fish or lunch. Ugh, what a backwards world….

  9. Tony Mckue

    Another stupid article by Dice. What remote work?? All the development contracts require on site consultants. Unless you van delivered a canned software project there is no remote project/collaborations. All the integrations require onsite work

  10. Kurt Langenmayr

    I’ve performed 80-90% of my work as a software developer remotely for many customers. The key is productivity. If you are doing quality work on time you will be successful.