Number of Teleworkers In America Takes Dramatic Dive

teleworking from home graphic image

Image Credit Telework 2011 Report, pdf here click to enlarge

We're big fans of Teleworking or homeworking or whatever you want to call it; doing so keeps cars off the roads and saves a lot of energy. But even as technology gets better and the economics get stronger, surprisingly, the numbers are dropping. Joe McKendrick of Smartplanet points to the latest study from WorldatWork, which says that the teleworking population in America was 26.2 million in 2010, down from 33.7 million in 2008. That is almost twice the percentage drop than the overall drop in employment.It appears that job anxiety is driving workers back to the office. According to the report,

Some employees are concerned that employers will perceive teleworkers negatively compared to peers who are in the office every day. Further, the high number of long-term unemployed creates a situation in which employers often are in a better negotiating position such that, to the extent one views telework as an accommodation for an employee or contractor, some reduction in telework is to be expected.

Many employers still think of teleworking as a perq to make employees happy, rather than a possible major cost saving. Other findings in the report are interesting; one might have thought that a lot of women with young families were teleworking, but in fact the majority are middle aged male college graduates.


A positive finding is that more companies are setting up satellite and hotelling offices that increase flexibility and options.

Although "home" maintained its position at the top of the list of common locations for teleworking in 2010, it nonetheless experienced one of the biggest declines as a remote work location from 2008 to 2010. Meanwhile, "satellite center" and "hotel" trended upward from 2006 to 2008 to 2010, as did "while on vacation."

Read the whole study from Worldatwork: Telework 2011 (PDF)
More on Working from Home
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Working From Home Increases Productivity, Keeps Workers Happy and is Good For the Environment
5 Innovations to Make Telecommuting Easy & Green

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