As a business owner, you may be used to having control of what happens day-to-day, however, as the old adage goes, “you can’t control the weather.” As the snow storm “Nemo” hits the Northeast area this weekend, many people wonder if they should take the risk to go to work, or stay home in warmth. However, many people avoid worrying about this altogether as more Americans are shifting from working on-site to working at home.
CBS News notes that more people are working from home, which could be a good thing for the economy. Research conducted by the Census Bureau shows that 9.5 % of the workforce actually works from home. What is contributing to this culture shift?
- Cutting Commute Time: People save both time and money avoiding the daily commute to work. According to a 2009 Census Report on Commuting in the United States, the average commute time was 25 minutes. Cutting driving, people save a significant amount of money on gas, as well as completely avoiding any tolls they may pay during the commute.
- Not Paying Rent on a Business Location: A business owner could save thousands of dollars working from home instead of working from an office. You cut costs on office rentals, as well as phone, internet and other utilities that are essentials for running a business.
- More Earnings: The median income for people who worked from home was $74,000, compared to the $65,600 earned by those who left the comforts of their home to work.
As international business relations are increasing, flying from New York to London for a business meeting is not always the best option. E-mail, virtual private networks, and video conferencing software such as Skype, also contribute to the increase in the home-based work force. In an article from the Chicago Tribune, it was noted that a nationwide push for more telecommuters could save $650 billion a year, reducing costs from the few aspects mentioned above as well as “traffic-related injuries, absenteeism and worker turnover, day care, meals, clothing and commuting time.”
There are no signs of this shift slowing down as more jobs are becoming hybrids; 64 million people (or 50% of the workforce,) have a job that have aspects of working from both on-site and from home. Even the government has caught on to the trend, there being a 133% increase in home-based state workers, and federal workers who work from home increased to 88%.
- More Americans Working from home, seeing higher pay: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505123_162-57526836/more-americans-working-from-home-seeing-higher-pay/?pageNum=2
- American Community Survey Report / U.S. Census Bureau; “Commuting in the United States: 2009”: http://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/acs-15.pdf
- A shift toward working from home: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-08-16/business/ct-biz-0816-on-the-job-20100816_1_virtual-workers-telecommuting-yorkville-home