How badly do tech professionals want to work from home? A new study from Quartz suggests that a strong remote working culture is important to employees from every sector—but especially tech. If you’re a recruiter or employer, offering the opportunity to work from home might prove that can’t-beat perk that will pull a talented tech pro into your company.
Quartz, in examining U.S. Census data in combination with other sources such as the American Time Use Survey, discovered that roughly 300,000 tech workers didn’t go into an office in 2015. That’s roughly eight percent of the entire programming workforce in the United States.
There’s still more evidence that a healthy percentage of tech pros are working from home. In Stack Overflow’s most recent developer survey, for example, 11.1 percent of respondents said they work from home full-time. And that’s not all, as the late-night infomercials say: some 9.4 percent of respondents indicated they’re at home less than half the time (i.e., “at least one day each week”), while 31.8 percent apparently never work from home. (Another 35.1 percent report they’re working from home “a few days each month.”)
Moreover, most tech pros want to work from home. “When we asked respondents what they valued most when considering a new job,” Stack Overflow stated, “53.3% said remote options were a top priority.” As perks go, remote work beat out vacation time, health benefits, “expected work hours” and better equipment.
Dice’s Salary Survey underscores these findings. When asked about the most important benefit an employer offered them in 2016, 14 percent of respondents said the ability to telecommute was tops. That was only 4 percent below “increased compensation,” and 2 percent above “more interesting or challenging work.”
But what about productivity? Quartz reports that most developers say they do an average of six hours of work per day when at home. In the office: just over three hours. Stack Overflow reports that developers working from home are more satisfied with their jobs, too.
The takeaway: people want to work from home, they like to work from home, and employers are starting to realize this. It’s a sought-after perk for a large number of developers, and there’s no indication the trend will reverse. If you’re on the hunt for tech talent, take note.