Even before the coronavirus outbreak forced businesses across the world to adopt a remote work policy, there were over 5 million U.S. employees working from home at least half the time. Now, telecommuting is more popular than ever—whether people were prepared for it or not.
Under better circumstances, employers and their employees would develop a plan for how best to work remotely before taking the plunge. However, whether you’re suddenly managing a remote team or are refining your own remote workflow, there are plenty of ways to work from home and be successful.
While the recent mass shift to telecommuting may have been chaotic for some, there are many benefits of working from home to consider. In this report, we break down the latest working from home statistics.
Let’s dive right into the work from home trends we’re seeing in the world of telecommuting before we add some color to the numbers below.
Now that you know some key figures in telecommuting and working from home, let’s dig a little deeper into what the landscape of work from home employees really looks like in the United States.
Keep reading for more interesting working from home statistics on telecommuters in the United States.
Having employee productivity issues in the workplace?
Work from home statistics suggest that telecommuters are more productive workers.
Two-thirds of managers report that employees who work from home increase their overall productivity.
Even more, 86% of employees say they’re most productive when they work alone—devoid of distractions like inefficient meetings, office gossip, or loud office spaces.
On average, telecommuters have a higher income than non-telecommuters do.
Here’s how it breaks down:
Among those employees who make $100,000 a year or less, the average telecommuter makes approximately $4,000 more on their yearly salary than the average non-telecommuter.
How many telecommuters are making $100,000 or less? 79%, compared to the 67% of non-telecommuters.
The average income for non-telecommuters is $41,705, compared to $37,657 for the average non-telecommuter in the $100,000 or less income bracket.
Despite these numbers, surveys show that employees would accept lower salaries in exchange for a remote work schedule. According to one survey, 34% of U.S. workers would take a pay cut of up to 5% in order to work remotely.
In a separate survey, 28% of respondents said they would take a 10% or 20% cut in pay. Workers would also be willing to reduce their other benefits, like vacation days.
The majority of telecommuters hold management positions at their companies, as 16% of all telecommuters identified as managers.
The rest of telecommuters’ occupations breaks down as follows:
Around 53% of telecommuters have at least a bachelor’s degree, compared to the 37% of non-telecommuters who hold a bachelor’s degree.
But data shows that not all jobs with work from home flexibility require a higher education degree, as 20% of telecommuters only hold a high school diploma (or less).
Working from home statistics suggest that companies that offer a telecommuting option for employees have lower turnover rates.
In a Stanford University study, employers who offered a work from home option had employee turnover rates fall by over 50%.
A separate survey found that 80% of respondents would be more loyal to their employers if they had flexible work options.
On the other hand, that same survey found that 30% of employees have left a job because it did not offer flexible work options.
Turns out, larger companies are better suited to offer a work from home option to at least most of their employees.
Telecommuting flexibility is more than twice as common in large companies (defined as those with more than 500 employees) than smaller one (those with under 100 employees).
12% of large companies offer telecommuting benefits, while only 5% of small companies offer the same flexibility.
If you’re looking to bring in a bright, new class of recently graduated candidates, consider opening up your benefits to include work from home flexibility.
68% of millennial job seekers said a work from home option would greatly influence their interest in working for a company.
In fact, out of all the benefits that make a work environment fun, casual, and flexible (regular social activities, casual dress code, free snacks and drinks, etc.), working from home benefits were the most important to young job seekers.
The stress of working in a traditional office can be removed by working from home.
Work from home statistics show that 82% of telecommuters reported lower stress levels.
And less stress comes with happier, more engaged employees, data shows.
80% of telecommuters report a higher morale, and 69% of telecommuters reported lower absenteeism.
Unsurprisingly, those who don’t commute into an office every day save money.
Full-time telecommuters save more than $4,000 each year by spending less on a variety of costs: commuting costs (gas, public transit passes, tolls, parking, car upkeep, and so on), food costs (buying coffee and lunches out of the office), tax breaks, and professional clothing upkeep.
Full-time telecommuters also save time by not commuting every day, as the average full-time telecommuter gains back the equivalent of 11 work days every year.
Telecommuting doesn’t just save an employee money—it helps an employer’s bottom line, too.
Employers offering at least part-time telecommuting can save over $11,000 per half-time telecommuter each year.
In 2015, telecommuting saved all participating employers $44 billion a year.
Turns out, there isn’t a major difference between the gender of those who work from home in the United States.
52% of all telecommuting employees are female (compared to their 48% of the entire workforce in the United States).
This statistic helps disprove the theory that more females work from home when they become mothers.
From the data collected on work from home employees and participating employers, telecommuting seems to tout many benefits.
And by looking at the growth trends since working from home first came onto our radar in 2005, it seems like telecommuting will only get more popular in the future.
So, are you thinking about offering telecommuting for your small business employees? It might be an easy-to-offer benefit that helps your business save money, and attracts top talent looking for flexibility.
Maddie Shepherd is a former Fundera senior staff writer and current contributing writer for Fundera.
Maddie has an extensive knowledge of business credit cards, accounting tools, and merchant services, but specializes in small business financing advice. She has reviewed and analyzed dozens of financial tools and providers, helping business owners make better financial decisions.