August 4, 2019 12:00 PM PT

Work from Home Statistics

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Almost 4 million people work from home, and that number keeps growing. Keep reading to learn more about working remotely and how it affects both employers and employees.

Working from Home

Approximately 3.9 million people work from home. This number includes full-time telecommuters as well as part-time workers who still spend time in the office.

Who is working from home?

  • The majority of telecommuters are over age 35.
  • The average telecommuter is 46 years old.
  • The majority of people who work from home have a college education.

Where do most people work when they telecommute?
While 78% of telecommuters do their work at home, others work from various locations:

  • 9% primarily work from the office
  • 7% work from co-working spaces
  • 5% work from cafés and coffee shops

How has the number of work-from-home employees changed over the last few years?
In 2005, there were just 1.8 million employees working from home. That number has increased by 115% in just 12 years.

Which companies allow employees to work from home?
67% of telecommuters work for mid-sized businesses with 201 to 500 employees.

How many employers offer work-from-home positions?
Despite the popularity of a work-from-home position, only 7% of employers offer this opportunity.

Which industries offer the most work-from-home opportunities?

  • Health and Medical
  • Technology
  • Customer Service
  • Accounting
  • Sales
  • Education

Why do people choose to work from home?
A majority of people (74%) who work from home do so for the work-life balance, whether for the betterment of their family or for the benefit of their own health.

Many people also choose to work from home to save both time and money, which can ultimately benefit their family and health.

How many employees wish they could work from home?
52% of employees who are unable to work from home are frustrated with their current positions. As many as 37% consider looking for another job, according to an Indeed study.

How many people say that being able to work from home is a major factor in choosing a job?
47% of workers would like to work from home and believe that it affects their decision when taking a job, according to an Indeed study.

Does working from home help the environment?
Remote work has many positive effects on the environment, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. Working from home:

  • Saves between 9 to 14 kilowatt-hours of energy per year

  • Saves $3 million in greenhouse gas and $980 million in oil

  • Reduces the number of miles traveled by 7.8 billion/year.

Telecommuting Effects on Employees

How much money do work from home employees save?
The average telecommuter saves between $2,000 and $7,000 per year. This includes:

  • Gas and Vehicle-Related Costs: Employees travel an average of 26.1 miles one way to work, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

  • Food (Eating Out): Employees spend around $36 a week on food and $20 a week on coffee.

  • Clothing: Employees spend about $1,800 on clothing annually.

How productive are work-from-home employees?
91% of remote employees accomplish more than when they work in the office, according to a TINYpulse survey.

How satisfied are work-from-home employees?
Work-from-home employees rated their happiness as an 8.10 out of 10 in a TINYpulse survey. The rating of all other workers was a 7.42.

How does working from home affect an employee's work/life balance?
Working from home saves time on commuting—in some cases, several hours a day. However, some remote employees find it difficult separating their working hours from personal time (including family) time.

Do work-from-home employees work more hours?
Employees who work from home take fewer breaks and have fewer distractions. With no commute, many employees start earlier and work later, which allows them to work more hours.

Does working from home help reduce employee turnover rates?
95% of employers agree that offering the ability to work from home improves employee retention, as many employees want to telecommute.

Losing a valuable employee can cost a company between $10,000 and $30,000.

Do employers save money by allowing employees to work from home?
The average employer saves as much as $11,000/year for each employee by allowing them to telecommute, even on a part-time basis.

How many employees would prefer the opportunity to work from home over a pay raise?
36% of employees would pass up an increase in salary to be able to work from home.

How does telecommuting productivity affect employers?
Employees who work from home are more productive and are typically more satisfied with their job. These employees also have a 50% lower absentee rate and a lower turnover rate.

Does working from home affect team collaboration?
Telecommuting jobs run the risk of misinterpreted communication. Without face-to-face interaction, people are more likely to misread the tone in an email or text.

One way around miscommunication is the implementation of video calls instead of emails or even phone calls.

Technology and Equipment

What type of equipment is necessary to work from home?
Employers may have different equipment requirements. At the very least, you'll need a computer and high-speed internet connection.

Other requirements may include:

  • Windows operating system
  • Dedicated phone line
  • Hardwired internet (i.e., cable or DSL)
  • Printer/scanner
  • Webcam
  • Headset

Some companies provide everything you need, while others require you to supply your own amenities and equipment. Many offer a stipend to purchase necessary items to work at home efficiently.

What Are the Downsides of Telecommuting?

Communication Becomes Harder
Though technology today makes remote communication easier, it can be difficult to communicate without misinterpretations. Without face-to-face interaction, co-workers can misunderstand messages or even miss them completely.

Lack of Engagement
Telecommuters working more than 3–4 days out of the office tend to become less engaged in their jobs and with their co-workers, according to the State of the American Workplace Report.

A combination of working from home and working in the office is ideal for employee engagement and effectiveness.

Can Distract You from Family Time
Parents work from home in an effort to spend more time with their kids, but it can often be difficult. Because of the children's needs, your productivity may decrease. Conversely, the lack of a structured workday may also get in the way of quality family time.

Bottom Line

Working from home can save you time and money, but it's not the right choice for everyone. The perfect balance of effectiveness occurs when you can telecommute and work part time in the office. This creates a level of engagement and bonding that a corporate culture requires.


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