Telecommuters Debate Momentum Behind Trend

NEW YORK—Emerging markets like Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific are considerably more likely than those in North America and Europe to telecommute on a frequent basis. So says a new report from Ipsos for Reuters News. The report bolsters the case for virtual office space.

But education, age and income also has something to do with virtual office use. People with a high level of education are most likely to telecommute on a frequent basis (25%) followed by those under the age of 35 (20%) and those with a high household income (20%). Men (19%) are more likely than women (16%) to telecommute frequently. Of course, that doesn't mean these are the only demographics embracing virtual offices--just the front runners.

All this is interesting data, but the bigger question is this: Will the telecommuting trend—and the virtual office trend by connection—gain momentum? That depends on whom you ask.

Globally, one third (34%) of connected employees agree they would be “very likely” to take the option to telecommute on a full time basis from their home or other location if their employer offered them the opportunity. This sentiment is felt most strongly in the Middle East and Africa (49%), Latin America (45%) and Asia Pacific (33%).

While the Western regions are softer on this measure, three in ten employees in Europe (31%) and one quarter of those in North America (26%), who do not currently telecommute on a frequent basis, report they are ‘very likely’ to take the option if offered by their employer.

All in all, it seems the virtual office trend is bound to gain more momentum as employees who have the ability to telecommute embrace the work style. But can virtual offices and telecommuting actually drive stronger work-life balance? That’s the subject of our next article. Come back tomorrow for more.


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