Telecommuting Makes Employees More Productive: Survey Says

Survey Says: What Really Makes Employees Happy?

How much do people love working from home? How stressed are small-business owners? And how much do today's teens care about jobs? The answers might surprise you. Here's a closer look at some of the latest small-business surveys.

Home Sweet Office

How much do employees love telecommuting? According to a new study from Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples, employees who are allowed to work from home love it so much they'd rather give up their favorite TV show (54 percent), an extra hour of sleep (48 percent), a favorite food (40 percent) or even part of their salary (40 percent) than give up telecommuting. (Giving up sleep I can understand. But ice cream? That would be a sacrifice!)

Telecommuters say working from home makes them happier, healthier and more productive -- more than 80 percent claim it gives them a better work-life balance. But business owners have reason to love telecommuting, too: 76 percent of telecommuters not only say they're more willing to work overtime, but they're more loyal employees because of telecommuting.

Stress Levels Rising

Feeling stressed out? You're not alone. More than half (52 percent) of small-business owners in the second annual Brother Small Business Survey say their stress levels are higher than usual, if not the highest ever.

What's stressing you out? It could be "tech downtime" -- 77 percent of small-business owners surveyed say their productivity has suffered in the last year because of office technology not working properly. (I can so relate to this.)

Or perhaps it's politics: 41 percent claim it's harder to keep up with state and federal policies than it is to bring in new customers. That's certainly not the way to encourage job growth.

Are Jobs Becoming Meaningless?

The percentage of U.S. high school seniors who say they'd want to work even if they had enough money to live comfortably has declined from 78 percent to 70 percent since 1976, the Harvard Business Review recently reported. The study's authors, led by Laura Wray-Lake of Claremont Graduate University, say these numbers suggest today's teens are less likely to consider their future jobs as meaningful in their lives.

That makes sense, given that anyone who's worked with today's Millennials knows they treasure their personal time. At the same time, given the state of the economy, unless they win the lottery or strike it rich as an entrepreneur, your labor pool isn't likely to dry up anytime soon.

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Follow Rieva at and visit her blog at Visit her website SmallBizTrendCast to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva's free TrendCast reports.

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