The total number of people who worked from home or another remote location for an entire day at least once a month has declined for the first time since the nonprofit WorldatWork began measuring telework in 2003.
The teleworking population in 2010 was 26.2 million, down from 33.7 million in 2008. That means about 20% of U.S. employees work remotely at least once a month.
According to the authors of “Telework 2011: A Special Report from WorldatWork,” the pull-back from telework reflects a psychological shift driven by the anemic economy.
“The decline in the overall number of workers due to high unemployment appears to be a factor,” says Rose Stanley, CBP, work/life practice leader for WorldatWork, “along with heightened employee anxiety over job security and a lack of awareness of telework.”
Although the total number of teleworkers has decreased, the percentage of people who telework more often than once per month increased.
In 2010, 84% of teleworkers did so one day per week or more, up from 72% in 2008.
The typical teleworker is a 40-year-old, male college graduate, according to the report.
Nearly one in three employees surveyed viewed telework as a reward or.
That’s the wrong attitude, says Kathie Lingle, executive director of WorldatWork’s Alliance for Work-Life Progress. Telework, she says, “is a business power tool that has been associated with impressive increases in, productivity and profitability.”