Number of Teleworkers Increases By 17 Percent
National Survey Shows 1 in 5 Americans Are Teleworking
Over the past year, the number of telecommuters in the United States increased 17 percent to 28.8 million. An overwhelming majority of these teleworkers are more satisfied with their jobs, more productive and feel more loyal to their employers.
These are among the key findings of an annual survey conducted by the International Telework Association and Council (ITAC) and sponsored by AT&T. The survey explores both the business and human factors of current telework practices and provides helpful insights for businesses and other organizations looking to meet the need for new or expanded telework programs for their employees.
"This year's survey broadens our definition of teleworking and confirms that it's a winning situation all around," said John Edwards, President of ITAC. "Employees achieve a greater balance of work and family life, employers gain the benefits of lower overhead costs and increased productivity, and all of us continue to reap the rewards of less traffic congestion and pollution."
View of Teleworking
More than 28 million, or 1 in 5 U. S. employees, participate in some form of teleworking - at home, on the road, in telework centers or in satellite offices. Most work on the road (24.1 percent) or from home (21.7 percent), while a smaller percentage work at telework centers (7.5 percent) or at satellite offices (4.2 percent). Most telecommuters do multiple forms of teleworking, with more than 42.4 percent saying they combine working at home with some other form of teleworking.
"Telework has evolved beyond the pioneering telecommuters of the 80s," said Chuck Wilsker, Executive Director of ITAC. "It appears to be entering the mainstream practices of today's workforce."
More Productive, More Satisfied, More Loyal
More than two-thirds of teleworkers express greater job satisfaction. An overwhelming majority (almost 80 percent) feels a greater commitment to their organization and most said they plan to stay with their current employer. Notably, almost three-quarters of at-home teleworkers reported a major increase in productivity and work quality.
"Our internal research validates the findings of increased productivity and job satisfaction among teleworkers," said Dr. Brad Allenby, AT&T's Vice President of Environment, Health and Safety. "According to our employees, the increases are a result of access to high-speed connections, an improved ability to concentrate and a better balance between work and family responsibilities."
Redefine the Balance of Work and Family
Almost twice as many teleworkers as non-teleworkers say they work before and after normal work hours or on weekends. But they also are more likely to say that working at home interferes less with other activities in their personal life. Equally as interesting, teleworkers report that their families also experience less conflict and an enhanced quality of life.
Edwards added that "the blending of our personal roles in life, combined with our use of multiple types of telework, is becoming a big benefit of teleworking. It is making it possible for employees to be where customers need them to be to get the job done."