How many people work remotely? A 2015 Gallup survey found that currently 37% of employees in the US have worked remotely from their home. For those that do telecommutes, they average 6.4 days per month. However, about 15% work from home all of the time. As well, 39% of companies currently allow some employees to work remotely.
Who works remotely? A Global Workplace Analytics’ 2011 “State of Telework in the U.S.” report found that the average remote worker is 49 years old. As well, Gallup found that 55% of them were college graduates. Technology has allowed for more people to telecommute. However, there are many jobs that don’t utilize computers as their main focus, which could limit the ability for those employees to work remotely.
What is the impact to productivity? Often there is a common misconception that people who work remotely are not working as many hours, and are getting less done, than their in-office counterparts. There is often a fear that if you can’t see them, and they are not in the office, then they are not working. However, Gallup found that employees who spent at least some time telecommuting were more engaged in their jobs than those that never did, which translated to increased productivity, profitability and customer engagement. They also found that remote workers logged an average of 4 more hours per week than those who didn’t telecommute.
The number of companies who allow telecommuting are increasing, as are the number of employees and positions that take advantage of remote work. 70% of employees in a Gallup survey said they would like to telecommute. So it is clearly a trend that will continue to grow. Companies can recognize many benefits from allowing telecommuting, including more productive workers, and the ability to attract a better and larger pool of talent for new positions.