Imagine your corporate dress code to be a ferry cloth robe and slippers–the family pet of your feet is optional. This scenario is becoming more commonplace as an increasing number of American workers opt to telecommute from home rather than work in the traditional corporate environment.
A survey commissioned by Telecommute America, a consortium of public and private organizations that supports telecommuting, found the number of telecommuters rose from 4 million in 1990 to over I million in 1997, Technological advances in networking systems and remote access software have also increased the number of telecommuting employees. Fifty-three percent of the 500 corporate managers surveyed believed telecommuting increased worker productivity, while 37% said telecommuting cut clown on company costs overall, even though they had to initially invest in home office equipment for these employees.
In a related study, International Data Corp., a market research and consulting firm, reported 66% of telecommuters work for small businesses and estimated the total number of home office households grew to over 34 million lost year, up 16% from 1995.
PERCENTAGE OF TELECOMMUTERS BY INDUSTRY, 1997 .
Health care 13.5%
Education 9 %
Architecture/engineering/construction 8.8 %
Communications 8.3 %
Manufacturing 7.4 %
Business services 6.5 %
Agriculture/mining 5.2 %
Real estate 3.1 %
Legal services 2.5 %
SOURCE: IDC/LINK Home Office Survey, International Data Corp., Framingham, Massachusetts, 1997
PERCENTAGE OF TELECOMMUTERS BY COMPANY SIZE, 1997
Medium-sized business 12.6% (100-999 employees)
Large business 21.6% (1,000+ employees)
Small business 65.5% (<100 employees)
Source: IDC/LINK Home Office Survey, International Data Corp., Framingham, Massachusetts, 1997
TRENDS IN U.S. TELECOMMUTERS .
1994 9.1 million
1995 8.5 million
1996 9.7 million
1997 11.1 million
Source: Telecommute America Technology Survey, Telecommute America, Washington, D.C., 1997