Corporations Are Letting Employees Work From Home, To Squeeze More Productivity Out Of Them

Workers are getting more flexibility from their employers, but that doesn't necessarily mean their lives are getting any easier.

Companies are letting their employees spend more time working from home -- in exchange for working longer hours, according to the 2012 National Study of Employers (h/t the Kansas City Star ).

The share of U.S. companies allowing employees to sometimes work from home has nearly doubled since 2005 to 63 percent of all employers, the study found. The percentage of companies that let employees periodically change the time they leave work also has increased 13 percent since 2005 to 77 percent.

At the same time, the percentage of companies letting their workers take significant time off has plunged. The share of companies allowing at least some employees to take a sabbatical has fallen 41 percent since 2005 to 29 percent, according to the study.

Companies have been squeezing more money out of fewer employees ever since the recession started. S&P 500 companies made an average $420,000 in revenue per employee last year, 11 percent more than in 2007, according to an analysis from the Wall Street Journal.

And with unemployment at elevated levels over the past few years, employees have been willing to work harder in order to keep their jobs. Worker productivity spiked 0.4 percent in 2011, 4.0 percent in 2010, and 2.3 percent in 2009, according to the Labor Department. Meanwhile, the ranks of the unemployed have risen 50 percent since 2002 to 12.64 million Americans, according to Labor Department data cited by the Business Journals.

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