NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Balancing Your Life is Made Easier with Telecommuting

March 22, 2004

Nearly one in six employees works from home at least once per week, according to a recent study by the Employment Policy Foundation (EPF).

  • Some 30 percent of those working from home weekly are self-employed, but almost 17 percent -- or 3.4 million people -- work at home as part of a relationship with an outside employer.
  • The majority of teleworkers are in "managerial, professional or sales" occupations.
  • About 14.8 percent of men and 15.2 percent of women reported working from home at least once per week.
  • Parents are more likely to work from home than those without children -- 17 percent versus 13.7 percent.

Telecommuting benefits the workers themselves, the employers, and the wider community, says EPF:

  • People who work from home say they do so to find a better balance between their work and family; they also feel more productive at home, leading them to enjoy theirs jobs more than when they had to go to a traditional office.
  • In addition to lower rates of absenteeism and turnover, teleworkers handle 28 percent more calls and bring in 43 percent more business than those in the office.

Telecommuting reduces traffic congestion and air pollution, in addition to commute times for those on the road. In the Washington, D.C., area the study estimated that a 10 percent decrease in traffic delays would result from only a 4 percent increase in the number of teleworkers, according to EPF.

Source: Employment Policy Foundation, "Telework: Part of the Work-Life Balance Equation," March 11, 2004.


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