Working Online: The Conclusive, Compelling Research

A growing number of Americans are working from home. Whether they are self-employed entrepreneurs running small accounting services, or are telecommuting for multinational consulting firms, some 30 million of us work from a home office at least once a week. And that number is expected to increase by 63% in the next five years, according to a study by the Telework Research Network.

Kenneth Rapoza, writing for Forbes (2/16/2013), says that an estimated three million American professionals never step a foot in an office outside of their own home and another 54% say they are happier that way. A total of 47% of people who have the option to telework are “very satisfied” with their jobs, compared to 27% of those who are office-bound, according to Telework. Around 90% of home-based workers say they are happier with the work/life balance even though they tend to work harder and longer.

According to Telework, half-time home-based work accounts for savings of more than $10,000 per employee per year, according to Telework-the result of increased productivity, reduced facility costs, lowered absenteeism, and reduced turnover. Employees save somewhere between $1,600 to $6,800 and 15 days of time once used driving to work or taking public transportation.

Over two-thirds of employers report increased productivity among their teleworkers. Contributing factors include fewer interruptions from colleagues, more effective time management, feelings of empowerment, flexible hours and often, even longer hours. The home office never closes.

Telework Research Network said that Best Buy’s average productivity had increased 35% through its flexible work program. British Telecom estimates productivity increased 20% through telecommuting. Alpine Access, one of the nation’s largest all-virtual employers, attributes a 30% increase in sales and 90% reduction in customer complaints to its home-based agents. American Express teleworkers handled 26% more calls and produced 43% more business than their office-based counterparts, Telework said.

Home-based workers often continue to work when they’re sick. They’re able to return to work more quickly following pregnancy or surgery. And they’re able to handle personal appointments (cable installer, appliance delivery, teacher consults, etc.) without losing a full day of work.

In cities such as Chicago, Houston, and Seattle, during peak commute times travelers often need to allow twice as long as they normally would if they want to be sure to arrive on time. For commuters stuck in traffic every day, time spent in a car cuts productivity in half. Nationwide, 4.2 billion hours are spent driving in traffic every year, which Telework Research said robs $78 billion worth of productivity from the U.S. economy. Additionally, traffic jams idle away 2.9 billion gallons of gas, and release more than 58 million extra pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year.

Matt Keener provides us with conclusive and compelling data on the status of home-based workers. With over 4.5 million registered freelancers on oDesk and 2.5 million registered on Elance, working from home is becoming increasingly common. A recent study by Forrester Research predicted that nearly 63 million Americans will be working remotely by 2016. The increased independence and flexibility of freelancing are calling Millennials in droves, but as the fastest-growing segment in the American workforce, workers over the age of 55 are giving them a run for their money. By 2020, an estimated one quarter of American workers will fall into this demographic and many of them are choosing freelance or telecommuting work. Freelancing and telecommuting are becoming increasingly popular with no end in sight. The surveys listed below illustrate just how integral freelancing and telecommuting are becoming in the American workforce.

How Many Online Jobs Are There? Are Companies Hiring Online?

oDesk Statistics (survey included nearly 3,000 companies around the world):
• 84% of the businesses view online workers as a part of their long-term business strategy rather than as a temporary solution.
• 86% of businesses surveyed agreed that a majority of business contractors will be working online via marketplaces such as oDesk by 2020.
• 58% of businesses surveyed expected to double their budget for online workers in 2013.
• 94% of businesses surveyed felt that the majority of businesses will have blended teams (online and on-premise workers) within the next decade.
• 76% of businesses feel that online workplaces like oDesk solve the talent availability dilemma.
• 68% of businesses agree that “traditional” hiring methods are more stressful compared to hiring online workers due to factors such as salary expectations, difficulty finding local talent, time required, etc.
• Hiring an online worker takes an average of 2.8 days, versus an average of 23.9 days spent hiring an on-premise worker.

How Viable Is Online Work As A Fulltime Income Source?

Freelance Statistics from Elance (3,000 freelancers surveyed):
• 57% of respondents reported increased earnings; 19% had more than doubled their freelance income in the past year.
• 67% of survey respondents expected their income to increase in the following year.
• 42% are getting hired for more jobs, despite the tough economy.
• Control over schedule was cited as the most important aspect of freelancing for 70% of those surveyed, followed closely by being one’s own boss.
• 62% of freelancers reported that they work on 2-6 projects at a time.
• 70% of respondents report that they are happier and 79% feel that they are more productive freelancing.
• 32% of freelancers complete all of their work through an online platform such as Elance or oDesk.

Are you ready to join this dynamic 21st century trend of cyberworking? Take a look at a recently published book, Shifting Gears To Your Career Working Online, (New Cabady Press, April 2015). It takes you into the world of online work, helps you find yourself there; then guides you, with specific, practical strategies, tools, and tasks, as you prepare yourself well, establish your own starting point as a web worker, and become highly successful working online.

Source by Marie E Langworthy