With so many ways to gather intel, the Internet is rampant with often contradictory survey data. So as I wrote this blog post listing out facts about working remotely, it wasn’t hard to find lots of data on the benefits of working outside the office.
Although you can find stats on the drawbacks of having work from home employees, most data shows that teleworkers not only get more done, they have better quality of life. Here are some Big Picture stats on the state of telecommuting in general, from both an employer and employee perspective:
1. Telecommuting rose almost 80% between 2005 and 2012 (American Community Survey)
This statistic probably was probably driven by two things: The increase in communication technology and the downturn in the economy. Today’s remote workers are available throughout the day (and night) through Skype and other tools, while cash-challenged companies save money on medical insurance and other employee expenses. Everybody wins.
2. Employers save up to $11,000 per remote worker (Teleworkresearchnetwork.com)
Anyone who says that workers are the only ones to gain from telecommuting is dead wrong. Between rent and other expenses, employers can save more than $10,000 per employee that works from home only half the time. The same survey says that remote workers themselves save between $2000 and $7000 per year on gas, bus and subway fare, and other transportation expenses.
3. Almost 65% of remote workers now carry tablets (iPass)
According to a 2012 survey by iPass, tablets are a huge hit with remote workers. When the survey took place, the most popular telecommuter-friendly devices were iPhones, iPads and laptops, and even though we’re well into 2014, you can bet those stats have probably not changed all that much.
4. Around 40% of remote workers get more sleep (Connectsolutions.com)
A small study in 2013 by Connect Solutions, a company that provides Unified Communications tools, found that while remote workers got more done, they also got better sleep. The study also showed that teleworkers were more productive and have a much more positive attitude about life and work in general. In other words, more sleep = better output and happier workers.
On the flipside, a rather humorous 2012 survey by Citrix showed that remote workers have done everything from watch movies to drink alcoholic beverages during the workday. For statistically accurate purposes, we’ll just consider those mischievous workers outliers.