Would you take a pay cut to telecommute?

IT pros want to telecommute — so much so that more than one-third of those surveyed by Dice.com said they would take a pay cut for the chance to work full time from home.

In a survey conducted by the careers site, 35% of technology professionals said they would sacrifice up to 10% of their salaries for full-time telecommuting. The average tech pro was paid $79,384 last year, according to Dice’s annual salary survey, which means a 10% pay cut is equivalent to $7,900 on average.

Another 35% said no to the idea of a pay cut in exchange for teleworking — they want the same pay for the same work. Of those surveyed, 20% are unemployed and would take any job, and 9% already telecommute. (The results are very similar to the responses from IT pros three years ago, when Dice asked the same question.)

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Telecommuting is a rare but valuable perk for IT professionals, according to Alice Hill, managing director at Dice.com. Less than 1% of the total jobs currently posted on Dice mention telecommuting as an option.

Given the low unemployment rate for technology professionals (4%) and talent shortages in specific IT areas, employers should be more flexible, she says.

“Telecommuting allows hiring managers to draw talent from outside their immediate labor pool, catching that tech professional whose skills and attitude fit, but proximity to the office is not ideal,” Hill writes in a Web post. “We believe done well, the benefits of telecommuting outweigh the risks. With rising gas prices and a competitive job market, companies who want to be a part of the future, would be wise to leave inflexible work arrangements in the past.”

Dice currently lists 77,365 available technology and engineering jobs, including full-time, part-time and contract positions. That’s up 25% from last April, when Dice listed 62,067 open tech jobs.

Last month, Dice warned that IT tech talent poaching is expected to get more aggressive this year. A combination of factors — including growing numbers of unfilled job openings and underpaid employees who want more lucrative jobs — is causing a hiring rush that’s expected to worsen.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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