When many of us are rushing to get ready for work, a small but growing number of workers are still in bed, sleeping soundly. While most of us are trekking through the morning commute, these well-rested few are still donning pajamas in the comfort of their own homes. Both of these groups of people are going through typical morning routines. However, the latter is taking advantage of the growing trend of telecommuting.
Telecommuting involves working from a remote location outside of the traditional workplace, often in the comfort of one’s own home. This method of employment has become increasingly popular with the advancement of technology and security in the home and workplace. Employees are also embracing telecommuting as a more comfortable and flexible alternative to the actual workplace.
As the SQCpack chart below indicates, telecommuting is growing at a very rapid rate. In 2014, workers who spent at least 50 percent of their day working from home made up 2.65 percent of the entire United States workforce. One may assume that most of these telecommuters are more tech savvy millennials who would rather do work from their own place where they can enjoy an environment of their own creation. Research suggests this is far from the truth. The typical telecommuter is an age 50-plus college-educated male, with a salaried position at a medium to large sized business. Disabled workers, too, find that telecommuting gives peace of mind for those who may have trouble getting to and from the workplace.
Benefits of telecommuting do not end at comfort. Those that are eco-conscious will find it interesting that eliminating the commute to work saves not only money but cuts back pollution drastically. If those with telecommuting-compatible jobs worked about half of their labor hours at home, that would be like taking the entire workforce of New York state of the road! This also includes massive savings on overhead and transportation costs for both the employee and employer.
The future of telecommuting is looking bright, with many jobs in the public sector moving at least partially to the home office. Is this the birth of a new paradigm in the workplace, or just an inevitable jump in telecommuting due to the advances in technology? What do you think, readers? Do you enjoy the structure and lack of distractions in your current workplace, or would you prefer the comfort and freedom that working from home would offer you? Let us know about your telecommuting experience.
Drew Leisen is a technical support intern at PQ Systems. He is a senior at Wright State University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in MIS.