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The Rise of Telecommuting

86% of workers say working from home makes them more productive

Both employees and employers cite benefits from telecommuting

As technology has evolved, it’s become easier and easier for people to work remotely. The number of people who don’t go into the office—instead working from home, a different city, or even a different country—has grown in the U.S. by 140 percent over the past 15 years.

Telecommuters cite a number of reasons why they’d rather work from home, with 86 percent say it makes them more productive. Other reasons include it is less stressful and less expensive.

Full-time telecommuters save more than $4,000 each year on commuting costs, food (buying lunch and coffee), tax breaks, and professional clothing upkeep. It’s also a time-saver. The average full-time telecommuter gains back the equivalent of eleven workdays every year by not having to drive to their job.

Telecommuters say all these benefits make them less likely to look for another job. 76 percent say they would be more willing to stay with their current employer if they could work flexible hours.

March 1 through March 7 is Telecommuter Appreciation Week and businesses are also counting the benefits of having some employees work from home.

Their overhead—leases, utilities, and supplies—are often less. Employees generally take fewer sick days because their overall health is improved, and software like Skype and GoToMeeting can save companies from having to pay for travel expenses.

Workers who telecommute are almost twice as likely to work more than 40 hours a week as non-telecommuters—53 percent compared to 28 percent for non-telecommuters. 36 percent of employees would choose the option to telecommute over getting a raise and 37 percent of technology professionals would even take a ten percent pay cut if they could work from home.

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