Study: One in Five Employees Telecommutes

NEW YORK—One in five employees who can connect online to their workplace report that they telecommute on a “frequent basis.” So says a new report from Ipsos for Reuters News. The report bolsters the case for virtual office space.

What’s more, seven percent say they “work every day from home which is remote or separate from their employers real office elsewhere.” And another 10 percent say they do so “on a very consistent and constant basis like evenings and weekends.”

Before we go any further, let’s define the world telecommuting as it’s used in this survey. Telecommuting is when an employee uses a stationary or portable computer to do their office work from a location outside of their office—either from their home or another location—either regularly or from time to time. Telecommuting and virtual offices go hand in hand.

Often referred to as “telecommuters,” these employees have the flexibility of using telecommunications—such as e-mail, phone, online chat—to communicate with colleagues in real time or do their work online from a remote location any time they wish—usually when they log in to their worksite—including evenings and weekends. It stands to reason that many telecommuters work from a virtual office.

The Ipsos study also looked at whether or not telecommuters are more productive. Many studies show that people who work from virtual offices are indeed more productive. But what did this study say?

Two thirds, or 65 percent, said telecommuters are more productive because the flexibility allows them to work when they have the most focus and/or because having maximum control over the work environment and schedule leads to job satisfaction and happiness. The other third, or 35 percent, agree that telecommuters do not work as hard because there is less manager supervision and/or because of family and social distractions at home.


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