Report: Number of teleworkers declined in 2010

Decrease in those teleworking due to a combination of factors

From smart phones to iPads, it seems like today’s technological advances are combining to allow even more people to telework. The federal government has gotten into the game, too, with the Telework Enhancement Act, signed last December.

But for the first time since 2003, when official telework tracking data began, the number of people working remotely at least one day per month decreased to 26.2 million in 2010, down from 33.7 million in 2008, according to the Telework 2011 WorldatWork study. Factors such as high unemployment, anxiety surrounding job security and an unawareness of telework options, all contributed to the dip, the report said.

In spite of the telework decline, the frequency of people who telework regularly is rising, the study said. It found that 84 percent of remote workers telecommuted at least one day per week or more. In 2008, that number was 72 percent. Daily teleworkers increased by five percent from 2008, to 45 percent in 2010.

Other findings included: today’s teleworkers are mostly 40-year-old, male, college graduates, home is still the most common location for telework, and working remotely is perceived as a “reward” by both employer and employee.

The report data was collected by The Dieringer Research Group as well as WorldatWork, a non-profit organization.


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Alysha Sideman is the online content producer for Washington Technology.

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Reader comments

Mon, Jun 27, 2011 Sam Davis

Interesting study - of special interest is the fact that the frequency of people who telework regularly is rising, and we expect to see that increase in the government as the Telework Enhancement Act gains ground. One thing the government is definitely doing right is insisting on training for all employees who telework - we noticed in this study that, according to figures 5a and 5b, only 17% of employees said that they received training on how to be successful as an employee with a flexible work arrangement, and only 21% of managers had training around how to manage employees in a flexible work arrangement. We see that as a crucial piece for success in teleworking.
Sam Davis, VP, AMA Enterprise Government Solutions

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