Salary Survey Extra: Working from home an idea whose time has come?

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Salary Survey Extra is a series of dispatches that give added insight into the findings of our annual Salary Survey. These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

Most of us are probably working from home more than we expected to this year back in, say, January.For most certified IT professionals, working from home has been a possibility for a lot longer than it has been a reality. Indeed, there are a lot of people with IT jobs who had probably never spent any significant portion of their normal week working at home and never expected to … before about the middle of March, that is.

The Certification Magazine team with its current roster has been doing an annual Salary Survey since 2013, and previous ownership had racked up quite a few before that. It seems highly unlikely, however, that we’ve ever had current events move a data point so far (and so quickly) from where the survey tracked it the previous year.

The COVID-19 pandemic has rearranged a lot of things, but one of the more radical developments — for those still fortunate enough to have jobs — is the new normal on many fronts of using a laptop or desktop PC to finally live the dream and do one’s job from the kitchen table, or the front porch, or wherever else there’s a strong signal from the wireless router.

This is not the norm. Or, at least to judge by data from past surveys, it hasn’t been the norm before this year.  Indeed, far from embracing the possibilities of remote work, many leading IT companies have actively moved in the opposite direction in recent years. You don’t create incentives like cafeterias, gyms, laundry services, and even napping pods to lure employees into spending less time at the office.

COVID-19 may not have altered the status quo beyond the period of time it takes to either rein in the spread of the virus, or formulate an effective vaccine. Or we may be living in the new normal right now, getting further from the world of cubicles and offices day-by-day. Time will tell.

Time has already told that much of what we’re about to reveal to you is almost certainly inaccurate. Our work team hasn’t been together under the same roof since March 16, and the situation for many of you is probably at least somewhat similar. So bear in mind that it was a different time and place — 2019 — when people told us about their personal experience of working from home.

Here’s what we learned:

Q: How many hours per week do you work from home in your present job?

Fewer than 10 — 57.2 percent
10 to 20 — 17.1 percent
21 to 30 — 6.1 percent
31 to 39 — 3.6 percent
40 — 5.1 percent
More than 40 — 6.8 percent
Not employed — 4.1 percent

So that’s where we stood pre-pandemic. Close to 60 percent of the certified IT professionals who participated in the survey were working from home fewer than 10 hours per week. It will be interesting to see what data comes back when we ask this question again (coming up soon).

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CertMag Staff

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Certification Magazine was launched in 1999 and remained in print until mid-2008. Publication was restarted on a quarterly basis in February 2014. Subscribe to CertMag here.

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