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Report: Telecommuting Increased 115 Percent in 10 Years

Topics: Data & Research
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From 2005 to 2015, regular telecommuting grew 115 percent, according to The 2017 State of Telecommuting in the U.S. Employee Workforce. The report from FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics shows that 3.9 million U.S. workers telecommuted at least half the time as of 2015. That’s 2.9 percent of the total U.S. workforce.

Who Are the Telecommuters?

  • The typical telecommuter is older than the workforce at large: half are at least 45 years of age or older. Among the generations, working from home is most common among Baby Boomers.
  • Men and women are about equally likely to work from home: 52 percent of telecommuters identify as female.
  • Generally speaking, telecommuters are more educated than the rest of the workforce. About 53 percent have bachelor’s degrees, compared to 37 percent of non-telecommuters. Work-from-home jobs don’t necessarily require a four-year degree, however: 20 percent of telecommuters have a high school diploma or less, while 27 percent have an associate degree.
  • Full-time workers were four times more likely to have telecommuting options than part-time workers.
  • The top five industries for telecommuters are professional services, healthcare, finance and insurance, manufacturing, and educational services.
  • However, telecommuting is disproportionately prevalent in management, agriculture, real estate, information, and mining. If some of those sectors come as a surprise, the report’s authors note that “the information age is changing the nature of jobs in every industry.”

Want a Telecommuting Job? Here’s Where to Find Them

Larger companies were more likely to let their employees work from home than smaller ones, according to this report. Twelve percent of organizations with over 500 employees offered telecommuting options, compared with 5 percent of those with under 100 employees.

On the other hand, mid-sized companies showed the most growth in telecommuting options: 7 percent offered work-from-home perks in 2015, representing a 75 percent increase since 2010.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

In terms of geography, companies in the northeast were most likely to allow workers to telecommute. Employers in New England increased this offering by 71 percent since 2010; Mid-Atlantic employers increased telecommuting by 50 percent.

Of course, you might not necessarily need to get a new job, much less relocate to a new part of the country, to gain telecommuting privileges. With 40 percent more companies offering flexible work options today than they did seven years ago, it’s possible that your current employer will get on board in the near future.

Tell Us What You Think

Does your employer offer telecommuting options — and do you take advantage? We want to hear from you. Tell us your thoughts in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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