Telecommuting is becoming more and more popular, and technology is advancing in wonderful ways to accommodate managers and employees with this increasing trend. There are already over 3 million people telecommuting, a number which doesn’t look like it will be reducing any time in the foreseeable future.
One of the most appealing advantages of having employees telecommute is that the typical business saves around 11 thousand dollars per person per year when they allow them to work from home instead of come into the office every day. Employees win, too, not just because they get to do their job from the comfort of their own home, but because they too save money annually by avoiding the commute to work: $2,000 to $7,000 by the most recent estimate.
The oil savings alone equates to over 37% of oil imports from the Persian Gulf. The greenhouse gas reduction is also worthy of considering. Telecommuting is currently equivalent to if you took the entire workforce of the state of New York off the road, permanently. Few can argue with the merits of saving money and having fresh air to breathe, but in addition to the $700 BILLION in annual savings that telecommuting totals.
This infographic shows us that HALF of the American workforce is eligible to work from home at least part time, so its no surprise that the rate of telecommuters continues to grow.
Other highlights of the infographic include a breakdown of the proportion of teleworkers to different industry types. Private sector for-profit employers were the largest employer of teleworkers at a staggering 75.8%. The next in line would be private sector not-for-profit organizations at just over ten percent, and followed in equal parts by federal government employees, state government workers, and people working for local government, all three at 5%.
The infographic also tells us at 20 to 30 million Americans work from home at least one day a week. Of that, 15 to 20 million are road warriors / mobile workers, 10 to 15 million are home businesses, 15 to 20 million people (including the self-employed) work at home part time with about half doing so just 1-2 days a week, and 3 million employees work from home full-time.
WorldatWork estimates that 16 million employees work at home at least one day a month, a number which increased almost 62% between 2005 and 2010.
While many assumed that telecommuting would decline during the last recession, it actually grew by 11.4% from 2008 to 2011. This is further evidence of the cost-efficiency of allowing employees to do their work from home, which is entirely possible and even preferable with today’s technology. People who work at home often tend to be more productive when they work, as they can control their work environment and eliminate distractions, as well as utilize methods to enhance their productivity without regard for how it may affect the work habits of those around them, tactics such as listening to music, keeping the room at their preferred temperature, or taking frequent breaks to keep the blood flow moving.
Based on current trends, with no acceleration of growth, regular telecommuters will total 4.9 million by 2016. This is an astonishing 69% increase from the current level.
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