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A Fifth of Telecommuters Work Less Than An Hour Per Day

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the don't-tell-my-other-boss dept.

Idle 323

MrCrassic writes "Working at home isn't vacation...or is it?" Quoting an article in The Register: "Almost one in five Americans who work from home only clock in for an hour or less a day, according to a survey, while a third stay in their pyjamas. Forty per cent of telecommuters say they work between four and seven hours, 17 per cent are doing the bare minimum and just 35 per cent are working eight or more hours, the CareerBuilder survey of 5,299 people revealed. ... Stay-at-home workers also said getting dressed for the day was far too strenuous: 41 per cent of women and 22 per cent of men — a third in total — stayed in their PJs."

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323 comments

Doing it wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37459370)

Wow, I get dressed and work 10 hours. I mush be doing it wrong.

Surveys like this are going ruin it for the rest of us!

But How Many $$? (2)

Sparton (1358159) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459386)

Interesting that there's no indication of how much the people from this study make.

Could it be presumed that the slackers working less than an hour a day are making a garbage wage?

Re:But How Many $$? (5, Insightful)

juggler314 (556575) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459438)

More likely it's just that they get their "real" work done in 1 hour/day, respond to crap e-mails sporadically the rest of the day. I know plenty of people that waste 6+ hours/day with bureaucracy/meetings/chit chat/whatever at the office. It's just that when you work at home...you do the same work, and then watch tv, or tend to the lawn, or whatever the rest of the time rather than dealing with office bullsh*t.

Re:But How Many $$? (1)

eth1 (94901) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459844)

Yeah, they kind of neglect to compare it to how much these same people work every day when they ARE in the office...

Re:But How Many $$? (1)

rogueippacket (1977626) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459892)

Seconded. There are days when I work from home where I knock off my entire to-do list before I finish my first coffee. It doesn't mean I'm going to spend the rest of the day screwing around, nor does it mean I won't be going into the office the next day - they are simply two different work environments, one provides a solitary environment with the option to relax, the other provides a social space. Smart companies are realizing that both should be made available to their employees.

Re:But How Many $$? (1)

mini me (132455) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459514)

Or maybe they are paid well enough that one hour of work is more than sufficient to support their lifestyle? There is no law that says you have to work eight hours per day.

Re:But How Many $$? (1)

bar-agent (698856) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459568)

Or maybe they are paid well enough that one hour of work is more than sufficient to support their lifestyle? There is no law that says you have to work eight hours per day.

The only people I know who can do this are independent consultants or contractors, where they set their own hours. You may not need an 8 hour per day job at market rate to support your lifestyle, but no one offers 2 hour per day jobs.

Re:But How Many $$? (1)

mini me (132455) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459620)

I don't either, but the article seems to imply that one hour is what these people are expected to work. It is not a case of them working for one hour and claiming they worked eight, they are actually logging one hour. These people would be soon out of a job if the company had the expectation of eight hours per day.

Re:But How Many $$? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459580)

No, but most employers tend to fire employees that are clocked in and not working.

Re:But How Many $$? (1)

mini me (132455) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459696)

According to the article, the people in question are only clocked in for one hour per day. It is not a case of being on the clock and not working. It seems that one hour is the amount of time these people are expected to be working.

Re:But How Many $$? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459732)

Few jobs, if any, are going to pay well enough to support oneself only being paid for one hour a week. Even professional musicians typically need to work longer hours than that.

Off the top of my head, the only things I can think of involve organized crime and corporate deals, but I repeat myself.

Re:But How Many $$? (1)

mini me (132455) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459864)

Lots of telecommuting jobs are going to be tech-related in nature. $100,000 per year for a 40-hour per week programmer is a reasonable salary in today's market. At that same rate working one hour per day, that works out to about $17,500. Only a couple thousand short of the average income in my locality. You are not going to have all of the luxuries in life with that kind of income, but you'll have no trouble living.

Re:But How Many $$? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459908)

There's nothing in the article that says they are supporting themselves. I used to do some moonlighting supporting a guy's website. I worked at home and probably only averaged an hour per day. It doesn't mean I was lazy, it doesn't mean I was misleading him on the number of hours worked, and it doesn't mean I was making a living at it.

If the Register surveyed freelance writers and found out they were only averaging an hour per day of work, nobody would assume they were fully employed or making much money. I think this is the same.

So? (5, Insightful)

tylersoze (789256) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459400)

How would it be any different if those employees were in the office? I'd bet they'd still only work one hour a day. And heck, if they are being given work that only takes an hour to complete (as opposed to not doing all the work they've been given) then more power to them. They can spend more time with their families and not waste time and gas commuting or being in the office.

This kind of reminds me of the study that found only a small percentage of soldiers actually fired their weapons at the enemy during combat.

Re:So? (1)

tylersoze (789256) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459460)

I should add I actually telecommute quite often (and freelance on the side as well) and put in about 80 hours a week and am compensated well for it, but I have coding job that requires all those hours. So I can't really imagine what a "normal" office drone type job is like, are there really 8 hours of actual work that needs to be done daily in those types of jobs?

Re:So? (2)

bistromath007 (1253428) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459528)

Of course there aren't. That's why most of them don't get to telecommute, either. Their jobs are dumb bullshit that barely serves any purpose, and so most bosses intentionally refuse telecommuting so that their employees can "earn" their pay by suffering.

Welcome to classism.

Re:So? (1, Insightful)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459608)

People like you that work two shifts are responsible for half of the high unemployment, the other half is the absence of decent working regulations that makes that type of ridiculously long shift illegal.

You can't produce quality code at 80hr a week in a sustainable way. The only type of code that can be produce at that constant rhythm with a reasonable level of quality, would be the kind of code best left to a generator.

Re:So? (0)

machine321 (458769) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459672)

People like you that work two shifts are responsible for half of the high unemployment

People like him are still employed.

Re:So? (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459724)

I am still employed, I was promoted to architec recently and I still work 37hr a week....

Notice that I implied that there was two side to this question, the other being : the absence of decent working regulations

Re:So? (1)

tylersoze (789256) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459826)

Hey no one is forcing me to work those hours, and I'll be damned if someone is going to stop me from working to make more money if I want to. And I might be overstating the average just a little, 80 hours is on an overloaded week like I'm having right now. Normally it's probably closer to 60. 40 hours at my day job and 20+ for my side freelancing plus my own apps. 60 hours is only 8.5 hours a day, including weekends. I've found that quite sustainable. And my clients seem to have no problem with the quality of my work, I keep getting projects despite charging much more than my foreign counterparts. I would say there seems to be a shortage of "quality" freelance coders that can communicate clearly in English, so I don't feel like making anyone jobless, unless you count some Indian programming drones, which is fine with me. :) Plus my day job is mostly porting games to OS X, so the actual bulk of the real coding writing and enjoyment I get doing freelance work.

Yeah, I find it funny you think there's a huge glut of quality programmers out there I'm taking work from. :) It's funny, occasionally I'll get comments from friends or family about how they should "learn programming" to make as much money as I'm making. My response is usually "Well why stop there, why don't you become a brain surgeon, you'll make a lot more than I make". Like coding is something you just pick up in a weekend and it's the automatic path to easy street or something.

Personally I have nothing against people that are working 1 hour a day at some mindless job (as long as they're paid significantly less than me, CEO's making millions on the other hand... :) I get to do what I love and make a comfortable living from it.

Re:So? (1)

tylersoze (789256) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459886)

Yeah, honestly I wouldn't mind working a little less, but I just can't seem to turn down all the work I get. It's really pretty ridiculous actually, even when I'm not out there placing bids on projects I'll get a boatload of work from previous clients without even trying.

Re:So? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37459776)

People like you that work two shifts are responsible for half of the high unemployment, the other half is the absence of decent working regulations that makes that type of ridiculously long shift illegal.

So you expect him to drop down you your dismal level of productivity so that some slacker can get food/shelter? It's called survival of the fittest and it's served us well for millions of years, it is WHY YOU EXIST AT ALL. If you have issue with it, build a company and pay people for the hours you want them to work - otherwise shut the fuck up, your OPINION does not matter slacker.

You can't produce quality code at 80hr a week in a sustainable way. The only type of code that can be produce at that constant rhythm with a reasonable level of quality, would be the kind of code best left to a generator.

YOU can't produce code at that rate, nor can most college-accredited CS dipshits - it doesn't mean everyone is so pathetic as to be gauged by, and to follow for life, a system geared for the lowest common denominator. You are why there aren't jobs for everyone, why scientific progress has virtually ceased in favor of grabbing the low hanging fruit, and why we as a species on this Earth are degenerating at a rapid pace - stop coddling the meek and encouraging them to reproduce in both genetic and metaphysical philosophical contexts, let them die as they deserve you sick, demented, piece of shit.

Re:So? (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459858)

Give me a break. Human beings survived thousands of years only working 15-20 hour weeks. Its only since modern society developed that people are required to work 40-80 hour weeks to survive. Its precisely the fact that there are so many god damn people on Earth that you have to work so hard. So many mouths to feed so you can't subsist on your own anymore, or you work that hard providing food for these people. There is no way a human can be productive the whole 80 hours, it is physically impossible. You may be able to last that long, but if you weren't perpetually exhausted you could probably put in twice the effort in 40 hours.

Re:So? (1)

Grygus (1143095) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459812)

Some jobs are mostly reactionary and aren't consistent in this regard. I was a database administrator at a major bank for years, and when I telecommuted there were days that I barely did any work at all, and days when the primary benefit from not commuting was that it gave me another two hours of work before the nightly runs began. If you had asked me how many hours a day I worked, I'm not sure how I would have answered, but any answer would have necessarily given an inaccurate impression.

Most days, no I did not have eight solid hours of work to do; the difference there was that in the office, left with little else to do, I often found some busywork and remained minimally productive, while at home I rarely bothered with that. On the other hand, I typically worked faster at home because there were fewer distractions (fewer phone calls, no co-workers hanging out at my desk, no lunch invitations, no conversations in the break room while grabbing a coffee, etc.) So I like to think that, while they lost hours of "work", as far as overall productivity the company broke approximately even.

Obviously the wrong people (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459646)

are being allowed to telework.

Reports like this give me pause, do we know the requirements these surveyed people are under? Are they meeting deadlines? What do their employers think?

If they are meeting the needs assigned to them by their employer then who cares how many hours they "log". I don't log as many hours as I work, and there are some that log more than they "work". It comes down to the needs of the business, if its satisfied then fine. If not, the wrong people are being permitted.

I know where I work we are not permitted to work from home simply because of the work habits of some people at work. Fire them I know some will say, but there are certain people you can't do that to easily and you also require history of issues to back your side and many are loathe or lazy to do that. Still those who can do work unofficially many hours from home because they are proven workers.

I would not celebrate a study like this or try to excuse it with hearsay, it is articles like this which day in day out are used to curtain, stop from starting, and end telework agreements. Too many people lack the discipline needed to work unsupervised and too many are concerned with hurting someones feelings telling them the reason they can't be allowed to work from home.

Re:Obviously the wrong people (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37459822)

Obviously the wrong people are being allowed to telework.

Or maybe they are just matching the one productive hour they would have had in the office? I think Scott Adams and Dilbert cover this well:

Dilbert: "I have an ethical question about telecommuting Dogbert. Do I owe my employer 8 productive hours, or do I only need to match the 2 productive hours I would have in the office?"
Dogbert: "Well, when you factor in how you're saving the planet by not driving, you only owe one hour."
Dilbert: "And this meeting counts."

Re:So? (1)

The Great Pretender (975978) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459788)

The question should be asked whether they achieve what is necessary in their work load not, how many hours they work. We I get to work from home I achieve as much in half a day as if I was at work, due to lack of interruptions. Does this mean I should work more or take the rest of the day off as a reward for being efficient?

Re:So? (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459792)

Most people are productive in the morning then it dies off in the afternoon anyway, with many an afternoon spent playing solitaire or browsing the web. My guess is those that telecommute and only spend an hour working every day are telecommuting for a job that doesn't require more than an hour of work anyway, and its pretty much managements fault for having positions like this open rather than offloading several such people's jobs onto one person. Having worked at a University on the administration side for their IT dept. I saw many people doing nothing a lot of the day when they weren't in meetings. I also worked on the research side at a University, and we had so many required meetings I couldn't get work done AT ALL if I didn't telecommute. There obviously is a happy medium. Currently, I telecommute weekends for a different job and its quite demanding of my time since I have to clear out help-desk tickets otherwise when I come in on Monday the early-birds and management are pissed they were bombed with weekend tickets. Some days are slow, and on those days I am waiting for tickets I am not ashamed to say I may go off and watch TV or do chores around the house with my laptop nearby waiting for something to do.

How would it be different? (1)

Comboman (895500) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459816)

How would it be any different if those employees were in the office?

You don't get to wear your pajamas.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37459846)

Not all soldiers are combat arms. Many jobs in the Army do not involve direct combat. Based on my experience in Afghanistan, most combat arms soldiers have indeed fired at the enemy. In fact I would say it is virtually impossible to go through an entire deployment without being shot at (and obviously returning fire) at least several times.

In other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37459406)

It makes people lazy. Anyone that's worked from home due to weather, etc. knows this.

I also tend to drink and possibly get drunk if there is very little work to do.

Re:In other words (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459644)

It means the company has a poor work at home policy.

For companies to do it right, it means there is a web cam that your manager can turn on and off at different times as well view your screen, your home office should follow particular standards, and you should follow the correct dress code.

When you are working from home, you should expect the same level of oversight that you get when you work in the office.

Re:In other words (1)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459786)

If your manager is constantly viewing you and what is on your screen in the office, I would hate to work under your management.

Re:In other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37459938)

What a fun and exciting work philosophy. Maintaining the impression of work by sitting in from of a web cam all day long so someone can see you are working. Thanks, but no thanks.

My work involves getting stuff done, delivering stuff to deadlines, achieving results however you want to put it. None of those tasks are dependant on what I am wearing, or whether I am sat in a particular position in my house during some arbitrarily designated hours.

Your description of a work at home policy sounds like you just moved cube farm hell to your employees living room - or 'designated work area'.

How about an employ where your goals are defined, your work is valued. Your employer trusts and respects your contribution, and in return you don't abuse that trust.

I probably only rack up a few hours during the 9-5 grind, responding to email, general support etc. I'll usually put in another six once the world has gone to sleep, thats when the coding gets done.

Laziness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37459408)

It shouldn't be surprising that people are inherently lazy, on average. If we can work 1 hour and convince our boss we worked 8, most people will do that. More than anything, this reveals just how pointless most jobs are, if they can be done with 1/8th the "expected" effort.

Re:Laziness (1)

Khashishi (775369) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459432)

The article says "clock in", which I suppose means that's how much they admit to doing.

Re:Laziness (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459782)

Indeed... if they admitting to working only an hour or so per day, then odds are that is the amount that was actually expected of them anyways - and they are not full-time employees.

So, 75% work comparably to office workers? (5, Insightful)

PeterM from Berkeley (15510) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459414)

From what I've seen, office workers are really working 4-7 hrs mostly, too.

So 75% of people work at home like they work in the office. Seems like telecommuting can be made to work well enough if you do productivity monitoring.

And heck, if you can do 8 hours of work at home in 2 hours, why not get 8 hours of pay! The key is productivity.

--PM

Re:So, 75% work comparably to office workers? (1)

neonv (803374) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459548)

And heck, if you can do 8 hours of work at home in 2 hours, why not get 8 hours of pay! The key is productivity.

--PM

If the key is productivity, you need to think " If you can do 8 hours of work at home in 2 hours, why not work 8 hours and complete 32 hours of work!". That's how a productive person thinks. It does wonders for your career, and the economy.

Re:So, 75% work comparably to office workers? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459600)

Sure you would think that. But you just destroyed 3 jobs! Obama will be pissed.

Re:So, 75% work comparably to office workers? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459628)

Bullshit. Only if you work at a company where promotions exist and everybody else isn't doing it and if there's any competition at all for employees. In practice it's not something that anybody reasonable counts on.

It gets worse when it comes to a down economy, because you work yourself to the bone doing everybody else's work, chances are that when you do ultimately fall ill or otherwise can't keep it up, that they'll just replace you with somebody else.

Re:So, 75% work comparably to office workers? (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459730)

There's no real cause to do other people's work for them, but if you aren't actually living up to your own potential at work by only doing part of what you are genuinely capable of, then IMO, that spells a poor work ethic. Certainly for demanding work you should always pace yourself so that you don't end up exhausting yourself before your time, but that's no excuse to not always do your best

Re:So, 75% work comparably to office workers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37459714)

Then you have to think, if I work 8 hours and complete 32 hours of work, will they pay me 4 times as much? The answer is no.

Re:So, 75% work comparably to office workers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37459768)

People have different ideas of a good life/work balance. I hear more stories about people wishing they had spent more time with friends and family than ones saying they wish they had worked more.

Re:So, 75% work comparably to office workers? (2)

Fned (43219) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459814)

That's how a productive person thinks.

Yeah, but is that how they actually work?

If I get a ton of work done in two hours, I generally find it very difficult to maintain that peak performance for an entire day.

Re:So, 75% work comparably to office workers? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459862)

It's called "underemployment," and if it ever bubbles up into the economic argument, it's going to cause a shitstorm.

CareerBuilder Survey? (2)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459420)

Who can doubt the results of such a scientifically valid survey? Surely it must be accurate. My guess is most of those filling out the survey were doing it from their cubicles at work, pissed off that one of their co-workers was working from home.

Re:CareerBuilder Survey? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37459616)

I am always sceptical about such surveys. I would like to know who funded the survey, and who was questioned.

Re:CareerBuilder Survey? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459686)

A lot of us (Myself Included) prefer to work at the office vs. at home.
It gets me out of the house, see and hear different people. Keeps my sleep schedule running smoothly etc...

Home is a place of rest and relaxation, where family matters take priority. Work is a place of energy and work, where family matters are put aside.

Re:CareerBuilder Survey? (2)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459916)

I had a job where there were so many god damn meetings I actually couldn't get work done, so I would typically just telecommute and relax while working. I was a coder for a research group at a University so sitting there with a beer (yeah, after noon that is), listening to music and coding was pretty relaxing for me.

Work done? (1)

Liamecaps (2428636) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459440)

If they get the work done, who cares? I work remotely often and I always get my work done whether it requires 1 hour or 12 hours a day. Or even weekend or late night work. You just get it done and your quality of life goes up.

Re:Work done? (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459558)

It's an interesting thought (and if this had been a halfway scientific study maybe we would actually know). The blurb could just as easily have read "Telecommuters 700% more productive than traditional office workers".

Although I suppose the pyjamas thing is a little trickier, I guess there's no real reason why working in your underwear should make you a less effective worker. I only dress in fancy office clothes because that's the thing to do at my office; I can't imagine I'd work any differently if I were wearing anything else.

Assumptions (2)

WRX SKy (1118003) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459442)

While never explicitly stated, the OP seems to indicate that the telecommuters are getting away with murder by working only 1 hour on an 8 hour shift. Perhaps they are part time workers, or were only hired to log a few hours per week?

Re:Assumptions (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459658)

That's sort of the thing, there are sites like flexjobs out there that help people find part time telecommuting jobs for some spare pocket money. It wouldn't surprise me if there aren't a significantly larger number of employees that are paid to work a few hours a week than full time.

So it's like a regular job (1, Redundant)

KarrdeSW (996917) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459448)

Looking around any office I've been in, I'm sure these stats probably match up with how people are working in offices as well.

Women work in PJs, men work in underwear (2)

j-pimp (177072) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459452)

I don't wear pajamas when I sleep, and I generally am only in my underwear around the house. However, its not really a sloth thing. When I work from home I might get dressed, drive my wife to work, get undressed when I return, dress to go to lunch at the local deli, and undress on my return. Getting dressed is not a demarcation that my day is started, its a demarcation that I am leaving the house. It will be different when I have kids, and was different when I lived with my parents of course.

Re:Women work in PJs, men work in underwear (1)

squidflakes (905524) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459510)

If I don't have to get dressed, I won't. I hate wearing clothing. If I could somehow convince my company to go clothing optional, I'd be parked behind my desk in a pair of boxers, if even that.

I have kids and it isn't any different.

Re:Women work in PJs, men work in underwear (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459870)

Have you tried wearing a utilikilt? Most of the freedom, but you also have pockets, and don't have to worry as much about cold chairs.

Re:Women work in PJs, men work in underwear (1)

squidflakes (905524) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459936)

I haven't tried those. Regular kilts, yes, but at home I still prefer as little as possible.

Re:Women work in PJs, men work in underwear (1)

npistentis (694431) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459898)

...or when we're testing video chat solutions. /awkward_moments_in_professional_history

So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37459456)

More importantly: do they get all their assigned work done? If so who cares if they only work one hour.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37459494)

The OP states they were only clocked in for one hour per day. Apparently this is all they were supposed to be working. It does not say they were clocked in for eight hours but only worked one.

How many surveyed are full time workers? (1)

Arturus (6457) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459480)

Would be interesting to know how many of those telecommuters are the stay at home mom types selling Avon or running an online Etsy store as opposed to a full time employee clocking in a typical work week.

If everyone in the survey is a full time worker that's supposed to be doing a 40 hour work week then title should be changed to 'A Fifth of Telecommuters and their Managers Need to be Fired'.

Shit... (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459482)

Ever since I started working from home for 3/5 days, I put in my normal time but, since I've got the code, I always end up coming back to it later in the evening for another hour or four...

I'm clearly doing it wrong...

One in five telecommuters? (2)

Roogna (9643) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459502)

My experience over the years is that one in five probably do work only an hour a day. The catch is, it's absolutely true of the non-telecommuters as well. I remember there always being a few employees who were "well liked" by management so never went away, but yet spent their days goofing off and doing the minimum required to keep their jobs. Being -at- a desk for 8 hours in an office, is not the same as working productively.

Meanwhile, owning my own company now, I work as hard as I have to keeping my company successful.

Re:One in five telecommuters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37459596)

its like the joke of how many people work at your company? about half of them

Re:One in five telecommuters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37459848)

I agree, and I don't blame them (I'm one of them). Hard work is typically not appreciated or rewarded. You usually are expected to work harder once you have established your baseline productivity.

With other business models where you are billing by the hour, you can cut into revenue by being too productive or give the impression you did a shitty job in comparison to your competitors who take two to three times as long for the same task. Most people won't see a bargain and high skills when you blow through something that takes other professionals like yourself more time.

I know, it sucks, I'm immoral, if only it were different, fairy tales and rainbows, and all source code had to be put in the public domain, blah, blah. Get over it.

None of them are freelancers (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459512)

only clock in for an hour or less a day

None of those people run their own freelance business. There are days when I'm writing from 7:30 in the morning to 8 or 9 at night and I have to quit because my hands are cramping.

If I only booked an hour a day I would starve. If you're going to work at home, you really have to be a self-motivated person.

Re:None of them are freelancers (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459622)

Do you think maybe you work too much? I work from home about 25 hours a week, and it pays the bills. I'm pretty happy with it.

Re:None of them are freelancers (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459746)

I work from home about 25 hours a week, and it pays the bills. I'm pretty happy with it.

I guess! 25 hours a week would be like a vacation.

Maybe I need to charge more....

Re:None of them are freelancers (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459764)

They wouldn't be clocking in if they were running their own business.

Instead they're likely employed to do data entry or whatever for an hour a day and paid for an hour a day. Not that uncommon for the stay at home parent to do in the hour that the kids are occupied.

Re:None of them are freelancers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37459832)

Sounds like you need to find a better job. Find out what these surveyed people are doing and you can work 1 hour a day and make a living.

I usually end up working longer hours from home (1)

63N1U5 (840190) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459546)

I rarely if ever telecommute, except in when one of my kids is sick and has to stay home from school. I have a commute that is at least an hour each way. If I'm working from home, I'm getting up at my normal time, but I'm starting my work at least an hour early. I don't have to go out for lunch, so that break ends up being shorter. And since I don't have to wind things down to leave the office at a certain time, I usually end up working past my normal stop time. It sounds like I'm doing it wrong.

Makes sense (1)

Mordermi (2432580) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459574)

I wish I could work at home some days. As long as I keep my servers running as they should (which is almost all the time), then I just deal with petty end-user garbage which I can do remotely. Reports? I can run them from home. "I accidentally deleted my file and need it back." I can do it from home.

I could do most of my job from home and not have to sit in an uncomfortable chair all day to do it. I could also get a lot more done around the house, which would be great. Some days I would only have a couple hours of work, others I might have more than 8 hours. But as it stands now, the administration of my company is old fashioned and doesn't believe in working from home. :-/

Core hours (1)

Tjp($)pjT (266360) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459586)

If they are only reporting actual worked hours then 4 per day makes them as productive as an office bound drone. MSFT has a concept they push called "Core Hours" or did some time back. The core hours that can be scheduled in normal expectation is 20 per week. The rest is taken up by the social miscellany of office life.

Personally I work almost all my contracts from home, lately doing either software forensics or Apple iOS development, and I work a pretty solid 8-10 hours each day, sometimes more. Sometimes a lot more for the lawyers who schedule at the last minute. Sometimes less if demand is low. And occasionally I am forced by a job to fly all over the country and my actual work hours plummet. So for me at least, I am much more productive at my home office, though my social life suffers greatly. Well, more than greatly.

The metric the employers should be using is "Are they getting the job done as expected?" and if not change the situation, either pull them into the office a few days a week, or fire them. Do let them know they are below expectations and allow them to fix the behavior! Also I find a daily scheduled audio chat helps keep expectations aligned. My company has not had an office downtown for several years now and we are pretty much pure cottage industry with an on demand office for clients visiting us. And I dress for work, same as I would for an office, I am pretty casual though, jeans, tee shirts and slip on shoes.

YOU LAZY A$$ BUMS LOAFING OUT THERE, GET TO WORK, YOU'RE SPOILING IT FOR THE OTHERS

Sounds good to me. (1)

gallondr00nk (868673) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459606)

This is *exactly* the sort of progress we should be making. With a jobs gap that is getting increasingly wider (job creation has not matched population growth for a long time now) with no end in sight we should be adjusting to the idea that we don't just want, but need to work less. Our standard of living depends on it.

The number of jobs per head is already less than 1, and will only go down as we move beyond the industrial age (at least for now, who knows what the future holds?). Spreading those roles still available to more people by reducing hours (and maintaining pay) should be something we consider an absolute priority. Enormous challenges, certainly, but we cannot keep pretending to ourselves that any of our industrial age economic systems can make the gap as it stands now.

People will call them slackers or call them lazy or whatever other moralistic snap value judgments people think of, but I think anyone who manages to achieve a shorter working day, away from the office for the same money is doing something worthy of admiration, not derision. It is something to emulate.

Work Ethic (1)

realsilly (186931) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459634)

Those telecommuters who work the time that they report have honest work ethics. If they only work 3 hours one day and report 3 hours, then the next day they work 15 hours and note that as 15 hours, then in 2 days time they worked more than most people did that went into the office. If a company receives the same productivity from a telecommuting employee as they would if they were in the office, does it really matter? The company has just save $$ on office space.

And those who stay in their PJ's who get up and start work, they may be putting in extra hours. The average employee may take 1 hour to get ready in the morning, plus a commute to work, a lunch hour, and then a commute home. For some this adds up to several hours a day. Those telecommuters who suddenly don't have all that extra drive time may be some of the more productive ones.

Now those who claim 8 hrs of work and did 1 or 2 disgust me. But that is because I have a work ethic where I expect people to do what they say they do.
.

Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37459640)

I don't think I've ever seen someone telecommute who was FLSA non-exempt. The supposed perk of being exempt is not to be constantly tracking your hours, you are paid to do your job, regardless of how long it takes you (obviously as long as that amount of time is acceptable to your employer). The worst places to work are those that make you exempt, but expect you to put in at least X number of hours a week/day.

CareerBuilder Survey!? (1)

thefixer(tm) (1906774) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459664)

So a study conducted by a career site. Doesn't it seem like most of the people on CareerBuilder would sort of be, what's the word for it? Oh, yeah: Un-Employed.

So people without jobs are only working an hour a day.

Office space (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459688)

So that means that when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That's my only real motivation is not to be hassled, that and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired.

how much time is waiting for others to work there (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459758)

how much time is waiting for others to work there part / call backs?

I have been on IT projects where I have waiting longs times for people on the other end to get back to be / work on back end issues that are getting in the way of doing the projects on the user end.

Pajamas? (1)

tthomas48 (180798) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459774)

Why does it matter if we stay in our pajamas? How am I less effective if I spend my time working rather than grooming?

This is a typical anti-labor attack. Try to build a movement against a pro-worker stance by coming up with a laundry list of complaints that make other envious and/or disgusted.

If I only work an hour a day at home. Then my employer shouldn't be wondering what he's paying me for. He should be wondering why he's paying rent on a building for 7 unproductive hours a day for my co-workers.

What about jobs where you set something and later (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459796)

What about jobs where you set something and have to just look over it as it runs and after the run you set the next batch now that can end up being a job with 1-2 hours of real work and 7-6 of just sitting back and let stuff run.

The Borg Have the Right Idea (1)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459828)

Hardwire them to a central consciousness and eliminate their free will, then command them to . . . do, uh, what? I don't know, that's why we hired them, isn't it? Not sure. Perhaps if we hire a consultant . . .

One hour a day? I wish! (4, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459860)

Disclaimer: I AM telecommuting today and I AM reading Slashdot right now...

Seriously, though - what's with the "getting dressed for the day was far too strenuous" tripe? I wear sweats or shorts when I work from home - so what? What's wrong with being comfortable?

I suppose they'd also complain that people like me are sitting on the couch rather than on a hard wooden chair. Also, I have a window open and am enjoying the breeze - maybe I should relocate into a closet instead.

This "study" is garbage. At the end of the day I'll give my boss a list of what I worked on today - just like I do every time I work from home. He's happy with my performance, and recognizes I can focus on longer-term tasks much better when I don't have the near-constant interruptions of the office environment. I just wish I knew who commissioned that study - should I ever leave my current job, I don't want to bother applying to that old geezer.

Logical fallacy (2)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459866)

This particular logical fallacy is called Fallacy of false cause [wikipedia.org]. The mistake is in assuming that telecommuting causes people to work one hour per day in their pajamas. In fact: 1) I have observed people working considerably less than an hour per day, on site, at Google among other places, and 2) I have observed people working on site in their pajamas.

The bottom line is, if someone is determined to dissipate their productivity, it does not matter where they are physically located, they will be successful at it.

some job are like firemen where you are waiting fo (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459882)

some job are like firemen where you are waiting for the call.

Now some help desk / IT tasks can be like that where mainly people are there to cover calls / issues that come up as well working on longer term projects and on a slow days you may only have 1-2 hours of real work to do.

Meet George Jetson? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37459902)

Sounds like a select few of us have achieved the Jetson's standard of living, doesn't it? The Jetsons are all "flying around the uber-skyscrapers" literally living the high life, but what about the rest of us? Morlocks! You and I know what the morlocks are into, (soylent green) but the Jetsons don't know that yet, do they? I don't seem to remember the Jetson's Robomaid toting heavy weapons....

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