Workers in the Unites States are increasingly using their homes as their offices. Over at Atlantic Cities, Richard Florida analyzes a new census report (pdf) that shows the number of people working from home exclusively increased from 4.8% to 6.6% between 1997 and 2010. He notes:
Working from home is closely associated with the share of commuters who bike to work (.51) and negatively associated with the share of commuters who drive to work by car (-.50).[W]orking from home is associated with higher levels of happiness and well-being (measured by Gallup surveys with a correlation of .50). This is not surprising since long commutes by car are one of those things that takes the biggest negative toll on our happiness.
So, where are these trends away from traditional office settings most prominent? Here’s the top 10:
- Boulder, Colorado (10.9%)
- Medford, Oregon (8.4%)
- Santa, Fe, New Mexico (8.3%)
- Kingston, New York (8.1%)
- Santa Rosa, California (7.9%)
- Mankato, Minnesota (7.7%)
- Prescott, Arizona (7.6%)
- St. Cloud, Minnesota (7.6%)
- Athens, Georgia (7.5%)
- Austin, Texas (7.3%)
- More occasional telecommuters: The percentage of all workers who worked at least 1 day at home increased from 7.0 percent in 1997 to 9.5 percent in 2010.
- What kind of work?: 25 percent of home-based workers were in management, business, and financial occupations
- Increase in tech workers: Between 2000 and 2010 home-based workers in computer, engineering, and science occupations increased by 69 percent.
- Self-employed majority: Nearly half of home-based workers were self-employed.
The combination of improved technology, congested highways and higher oil prices means the trend to working at home is likely to increase in the future.
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