July 1, 2011
Who's telecommuting and who isn't
How can I find a telecommuting job?
Do work-from-home jobs for entry-level workers exist?
I like my job and could do some of it from home, if only my manager would let me -- how can I convince her?
[Flickr photo by faster panda kill kill]
That's why I was excited to come across a new study called the State of Telework in the U.S. Finally, we'd have some bona fide demographics on today's telecommuters.
Unfortunately, the survey findings are not too encouraging for those on the lower rungs of the workforce and those on the lower end of the pay spectrum.
According to the Telework Research Network, which commissioned the study, the average telecommuter is 49 years old, has a college degree, and works in a professional, senior, or management role. In addition, more than 75 percent of those who work from home make at least $65,000 a year, which puts them in the top 80 percentile of all workers.
Today's limited state of telecommuting isn't for lack of desire. Workers want their telecommuting and they want it bad.
But as the study found, telecommuting and flexible work schedules are still treated by employers as more of a perk than a standard business practice. In fact, the Telework Research Network reminds us that of the 64 million U.S. employees with jobs that could be partially conducted from home, fewer than 3 million of them regularly telecommute. That's little more than 2 percent of all the nation's employees.
So just how badly do U.S. workers want to telecommute? Some statistics from the survey:
- One in two U.S. workers who currently do not telecommute would like to.
- Thirty-seven percent of U.S. workers without any telecommuting privileges would gladly take a pay cut if it meant they could have more control over where they work.
Interested in talking to your employer about telecommuting privileges? The following Nine to Thrive posts can help:
- How to convince your boss to let you work from home
- Asking to telecommute in a bad economy
- More ammo for employees hoping to telecommute
- How to work from home without losing your mind
- How managers can help telecommuters succeed
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
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