According to CNNMoney, a recent Census Bureau report found that 13.4 million Americans work from home. That is about 41 percent more people telecommuting in the last decade.
The Census Bureau found that 9.5 percent of all workers worked from home at least one day a week in 2010. That is an increase over the 7 percent that worked from home in 1999. Government employees saw the largest increase, with a 133 percent increase in telecommuting between 2000 and 2010 for state employees and an 88 percent increase for federal employees. Private companies increased their work from home opportunities by 67 percent.
In my previous job, I was allowed to telecommute one day a week and to do any overtime work from home. It was a smart move on my employer's part. Since I had the option of working from home anyway, I rarely took sick days. Instead I stayed home and worked. I also did far more overtime than I would have otherwise, since I had the option to do that at home and wasn't stuck at the office late at night or on weekends.
When I started my new job a few months ago they gave me two options. Either I could work exclusively in the office, or I could work completely from home. However, I would have to take a pay cut to work from home. Since the office was nearly 30 minutes from my house, I agreed to the pay cut and have been working from home since. Interestingly, CNNMoney says that the median salary of employees who worked in both the office and at home was $20,000 higher than the median salary of people who worked entirely from home.
Fortunately, my pay cut was not that significant and I've been able to save a ton of money not having to commute back and forth to work, buy lunch out every day, or keep up a full stock of casual business clothing. I'm also getting more done since I can start earlier and finish later without taking up too much of my free time.
However, it isn't all upsides. Because I work alone, I rarely see or speak to my supervisor directly. Sometimes I miss out on important information because it was said at the office. I also have trouble getting help when I need it or asking questions, since I have to do most of these exchanges by email then wait for a response.
Working from home has been both good and bad for me.
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