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Americans Are Working at Home More Than They Used To


Last year, on days when they worked, 23 percent of employed Americans worked at least part of the day at home, according to the American Time Use Survey, which was released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics earlier this week. That’s up from 2003, the first year in which figures were recorded, when 19 percent of employed U.S. workers spent at least part of their working days doing their jobs from home.


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The 2014 American Time Use Survey included 11,600 Americans over the age of 15, who were interviewed throughout the year. Each individual was selected from households across the country that participate in the Current Population Survey, which is the monthly household labor force survey. Participants were asked to recount their activities from 4 a.m. on the day prior to the survey until 4 a.m. on the day of the interview.

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The ATUS includes activities like personal care (e.g. sleeping, grooming), childcare, work, volunteering, leisure, etc. The results of the survey showed, among other things, that American workers are working at home more often, and for longer periods of time, than they did 10-plus years ago.

A few stats from the release:

  • On the days they worked, 85 percent of employed persons did some or all of their work at their workplace and 23 percent did some or all of their work at home. Employed persons spent more time working at the workplace than at home – 8.0 hours compared with 3.2 hours.
  • From 2003 to 2014, the share of employed persons who did some or all of their work at home on days they worked increased from 19 percent to 23 percent. During this same period, the average time employed persons spent working at home on days they did so increased by 37 minutes.
  • Self-employed workers were nearly three times more likely than wage and salary workers to have done some work at home on days worked – 58 percent compared with 20 percent. Self-employed workers also were more likely to work on weekend days than were wage and salary workers 46 percent compared with 33 percent.
  • On the days they worked, 39 percent of employed people age 25 and over with a bachelor’s degree or higher did some work at home, compared with only 12 percent of those with less than a high school diploma.

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Do you work at home? Did you work at home 11 years ago? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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Dr. Taffy WagnerSmithy Recent comment authors
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I have 1 office day and work remotely in administration at a company I’ve been with for 14 years. It is very difficult and stressful at times but it allows me to home school my 2 older children and be home with my infant while still maintaining my job. Very thankful for technology!

Dr. Taffy Wagner
Dr. Taffy Wagner

I worked at home 11 years ago as a contract Paralegal. I continue to work at home today as well as homeschool our twins. I needed the flexibility to homeschool which provided the opportunity as a self-employed, work at home mom.

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