With new apps and programs in constant development, it should come as no surprise that online connectivity has grown by leaps and bounds over the last several years. Programs like Slack, Google Hangouts, Skype, BlueJeans and Discord have made it easier for individuals to stay in touch with each other. Not only are friends able to spend more time together to enjoy their favorite activities, but these programs have allowed businesses to stay in touch with their employees far more efficiently. It is unsurprising to see that as designers and engineers create new tools to keep people connected, more and more have the chance to stay in touch with their office without having to go there.
It is not surprising to see, therefore that some of the same engineers that have been behind such technological advancements have also been on the forefront of testing and using them. More and more programmers are having the opportunity to work from home. The change is even more interesting among the more experienced programmers, as they are beginning to demand that they be able to work at home. In a comfortable home environment, more and more people have the opportunity to handle their obligations at their pace, using the practices that they know will work for them.
In 2015, over 300,000 employees in the computer science industry were reported to work from home within the United States. Although this figure also included a number of other related professions, such as statisticians and actuaries, the overwhelming majority of the individuals who were asked during this survey were programmers. Although this is not the largest number of remote employees regarding absolute numbers, it is a significantly larger share than in just about any other job category. With roughly 8 percent accounted for in the field of programming, it stands out against just 3 percent in most other job categories.
These statistics were not easy for researchers to find, as they were analyzed from the United States Census, the American Time Use Survey and the American Community Survey, All three of these studies were cross-referenced in order to more accurately estimate just how many workers in full-time employment also worked from home. The jobs they did and how much time they would spend in their home office instead of a company office painted a very clear picture of professionals in the field of programming. The categorization also focuses on the overlap between self-employed individuals and those who were a part of a formal wage-earning workforce in the field of programming.
Through this study, individuals may see that programmers were not only much more likely to work from home at more frequent periods that other employees, but they were also more likely to spend the entire work day working from home. From the period of 2012 to 2015, a full-time programmer who works from home may expect to work roughly six hours doing so. This is a significant figure because it represents a 92 percent increase in overall average time that employees spent at home between 2003 and 2005. This is also roughly double the average of most other jobs in the industry.
For a number of programmers, is is especially attractive for them to work from home as opposed to having to go to a designated area to get work done. The advantages that many home programmers described were numerous. The task of programming and coding requires a very intense and specific degree of concentration in order for engineers to be able to establish reliable solutions to much more complicated problems. There are also frustrations that programmers wish to avoid at the office that they can avoid thinking about at home. Any type of frustration that could ruin their productivity could end up having a significant impact on their workload. As long as the individual is relatively disciplined in terms of managing their own personal time and output, home programmers can look forward to a much more productive environment that reduces job-related stress and allows them to manage their productivity much more efficiently.
Before, tech companies would lure job candidates to the workplace with promises of free meals and office gym usage, but now there is a shifting professional landscape that business owners must contend with in order to keep up with the increasing variety of candidate who are just not interested in coming into the office anymore. In a recent 2019 survey, researchers found that over 53 percent of programmers had ranked remote work opportunities as one of their top five valued benefits. Many even valued it as their most important benefit, putting it over the cost of health insurance, professional development and working hours.
Though it is an advantageous system for engineers and developers, such practices have been difficult for hiring managers to work with. Business owners and project managers will need to come to terms with the changing landscape, especially for employees who come with just enough clout to consider negotiating such terms more aggressively. The number of professionals who have been working full-time from home has also been growing at an incredible yearly rate of just over 11 percent. These statistics are based on reports over the past decade, and the growth is typically not evenly distributed.
Studies found that employees who are typically more experienced and better paid will request to work at home more often, while engineers and programmers who are just starting out in the industry may need to work in the office more often. However, it is important to consider that the former category may also be given more opportunities to work at home than the latter. Studies also found that managers are the largest group of workers most likely to work remotely from home in the United States.
These studies have many ramifications, as the movement of professionals who begin to move outside of the office may change both the political and social culture of the tech workplace.
Because the overwhelming majority of the studies were conducted within the United States, it is unclear whether or not the trends are as extensive outside of the United States. Statistics in other countries are not as detailed or consistant as statistics in the United States, though general data does suggest that such trends are not as popular around the rest of the world. Statistics find that working from home in the tech industry in European countries is not growing in popularity quite as quickly as in developing countries like India, China and Indonesia.
Though the numbers are still modest, the changing landscape does imply that management may need to begin planning for potential bonus packages and variances in order to keep up with programmer demands to work from home. As more and more professionals start to work from home in other regions, a hypothetical path does present itself to offer opportunities to reverse wealth concentration in tech cities like New York City and San Francisco. These cities are largely unlivable for the average employee because of major cost of living issues, but projections may be promising as the environment begins to change.
In addition to how advantageous it is on a sociopolitical level, allowing employees to work from home in the tech industry may simply be more humane. Researchers found that remote workers were generally more productive and happy when they worked from home. Stack Overflow specifically found that programmers who get the job done from home were, on average, 11 percent happier with their job experiences than those who never did. It is important to remember that their experience and higher paychecks may also play a role in determining this.
Though there are plenty of critics in the field, the results are definite. Programmers who work from home are happier with their careers, providing more productive results and solutions than if they had not had the opportunity to work at home. The trend is growing with no signs of stopping, and the workplace environment will be changed dramatically over the next few years as a result.
Jordan's work focuses on helping people reach their financial goals so they can spend more time with family and friends and less time worrying about their budget. After finishing college with a degree in Accounting and Communication, he realized that these are the most important things in life and that people shouldn’t miss out because of money.