Love, Telecommuting Style


By Tim Moran

Love is in the air for Valentine's Day, but being able to work at home might trump flowers and candy. According to the results of one recent survey, if your significant other is really hell-bent on telecommuting: Beware. Five percent of the respondants said they would be willing to "give up their spouses" for the chance to telecommute.

The survey of 2,630 adults, conducted by Harris Interactive for TeamViewer--a developer of high-end solutions for online communication and collaboration--found that these results were fairly consistent across age and gender. Regions, however, varied a bit when it came to ditching the wife or husband for the opportunity to work in pajamas. Seven percent of those in the West said they would dump the spouse if they could work at home, while only 2 percent of Midwesterners said they would.

Holger Felgner, general manager at TeamViewer, believes that there's method in this madness: "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."

But the love of a good man or woman is not the only thing that respondants would sacrifice if they were able to telecommute. For instance, 12 percent said they would take a pass on daily showers--perhaps yet another way to make the significant other disappear. Other things that would be given up to work from home: social media (34 percent); texting (30 percent); chocolate (20 percent); smartphone (25 percent); and salary increase (17 percent). At least all of these come before divorce.

The survey also makes it clear that more people than ever want the option to telecommute (62 percent), and an overwhelming percentage (83 percent) believing that telecommuting is on the rise. Specifically, the survey found that these particular Americans believe that:

• Smartphones and tablets are increasing the use of telecommuting (53 percent) • Access to telecommuting is increasing (49 percent) • Telecommuting is getting easier (49 percent)

There's no doubt that telecommuting is increasing in companies all over the world. As for its connection to divorce, well, it's entirely possible that the 5 percent could get their wish if they actually do get the opportunity to work from home. According to some reports, divorce could be merely one more conference call or request to wash the floors away.