Telecommuting Statistics

The Latest Telecommuting Statistics

Based on the latest American Community Survey data, just over 2% of the U.S. employee workforce (2.8 million people, not including the self employed or unpaid volunteers) considers home their primary place of work. (Kate Lister, Telework Research Network)

• Growth of Multiple Days per Week Employees telecommuting (not including self-employed):

2007 to 2008 = 14.1% (2.8 million or 2.18% of U.S. employee population)

2006 to 2007 = 7.8% (2.5 million or 1.99% of U.S. employee population)

2005 to 2006 = 26.2% (2.3 million or 1.86% of U.S. employee population)

(Kate Lister, Telework Research Network - based on American Community Service data)

• Estimates of how many people telecommute and how often they do it vary widely. Based on all the research we’ve done, our estimate is that 20 to 30 million people currently work from home at least one day a week. 15 to 20 million are road warriors / mobile workers; 10 to 15 million are home businesses; 15 to 20 million work at home part time (with about half doing so 1-2 days a week; and about 3 million are based at home full time (including self-employed). (Kate Lister, Telework Research Network)

The number of Americans who worked from home or remotely at least one day per month for their employer (“employee telecommuters”) increased from approximately 12.4 million in 2006 to 17.2 million in 2008. A 39% 2 year increase and 74% increase since 2005. (WorldatWork Telework Trendlines 2009)

38% of people who did not currently telecommute said they had job-related tasks that they thought they could perform from home. (WorldatWork Telework Trendlines 2009)

When asked what portion of their work they could do from home, 29% said they could do less than 20%, 27% said 20-40%, 11% said 40-60%, 9% said 60-80%, and 24% said 80% or more. (WorldatWork Telework Trendlines 2009)

When asked about their interest in working from home, only 21% said the were not at all interested. (WorldatWork Telework Trendlines 2009)

• 40% of U.S. employees hold jobs that that could be done at home (50 million). (Matthews & Williams 2005—Telework Adoption and Energy Use in Buildings and Transport Sectors in the United States and Japan)

• 61% of federal employees are considered eligible for telework 5.2% do so on a regular basis.

• About half of all business are home-based (16 million)
(United States Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy, The Small Business Economy 2007—A Report To the President) - though many of them do not work both from and at home (plumbers, for example)

• 42% of U.S. employers say they have allowed staff to work remotely this year—up from just 30% in 2007. (WorldatWork 2008 survey of 2,288 U.S. employers)

In response to high gas prices, almost one in four employers are planning to offer a telecommuting option for their employees within the next six months (8/08) and 42% already have. (Mercer’s 2008 Gas Price Impact SnapShot™ Survey)

• More frequent telecommuting has been the second highest way employees have dealt with rising fuel prices. It was cited by 33% of workers (46% had increased carpooling, 33% were driving more fuel efficient cars, and 30% are looking for job closer to home). (The Edge Report, 2008 Robert Half International Survey)

72% of employees say flexible work arrangements would cause them to choose one job over another. 37% specifically cite telecommuting. (The Edge Report, 2008 Robert Half International Survey)

Gen Y’ers are more difficult to recruit (as reported by 56% of hiring managers) and to retain (as reported by 64% of hiring managers) but they are particularly attracted flexible work arrangements. (The Edge Report, 2008 Robert Half International Survey)

• 25% of employers plan to offer telecommuting as an option for retiring Boomers. (2008 Robert Half International Survey)

• 29% have begun offering telecommuting as a way to improve staff retention rates in the last 12 months. (2008 Robert Half International Survey)

• The vast majority of workers in the United States commute to work, with 70 percent reporting they commute all the time to work. Among the other 30 percent: 9 percent telecommute part time and travel to their jobs the rest of the time; half of these individuals telecommute just one or two days a week; 2 percent telecommute full time; 8 percent have home-based businesses, and therefore do not need to commute; 12 percent have jobs that do not involve a traditional commute [likely road warriors / mobile workers] ( 2005/2006 National Technology Readiness Survey, Rockridge Associates)

Teleworker Profile

—including self employed and road warriors (from WorldatWork Telework Trendlines 2009)

61% male, 39% female

Age 18-34 = 42%
Age 35-54 = 48%
Age 55+ = 8%
Mean Age = 40.3, Median Age = 38

High School or less = 23%
Some College or Vocational Training = 28%
College Graduate = 50%
Post Graduate Degree = 15%

Household Income
Under $40,000 = 10%
$40-75,000 = 32%
>$75,000 = 52%

For a round-up of the statistics and findings of over 250 studies on telework and related topics, visit our pros and cons of telecommuting for employees, employers, and the community page.

All roads point to telework.

As a nation, it’s time to make the road less traveled, our way to work.

* REPORTERS: Statistical information contained herein come from a wide range of studies. For additional information reporters on assignment can email info-at-undress4success-dot-com. Please let us know what publication you represent, the nature of the article, your timeframe, and the estimated date of publication and we’ll help if we can. If you’re under a tight deadline, please call 760-703-0377.