The Economy

More Workers Doing Their Jobs Remotely

Nearly a quarter of U.S. workers did some or all of their work from home last year, the Labor Department says.
Christopher HosfordJuly 11, 2016

More Americans are working at home, and working longer hours while they’re there, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

In its latest American Time Use Survey (ATUS), the department found that 24% of all U.S. workers did some or all of their work from home last year, compared with 19% who worked from home in 2003, the first year the survey was conducted.

Those in management, business and financial occupations led all categories of remote workers, at 38%, with those working in the professions right behind at 35%.

Not only are there more Americans working from home, but the average time they do so has increased, up 40 minutes to 3.2 hours a week in 2015 since the first survey was conducted.

As Fast Company reports, the trend may reflect the growth of flex time. A 2015 Workplace Trends study found that nearly a third of human resources managers spent over $40,000 implementing a flex-time program last year, and more than half say they’ll invest more in those initiatives this year.

Additionally, the Labor Department suggested that as more people work in the sharing economy, they’re picking up work of one sort or another that is not performed in an office.

In other findings from ATUS,  only 7% of those with less than a high school education worked at home last year, compared with 39% of those with a bachelor’s degree or higher and over the age of 25.

Those with an associates degree or some college reported working from home 3.58 hours on an average day. “This is likely due to the types of jobs available for people without a degree [being] mostly service jobs that can’t be done from home,” Fast Company said.

Also impacting the home-or-office divide was the number of jobs a person holds. Multiple jobholders were more likely to work at home than were single jobholders, 36% compared with 23 percent.

The Labor Department collected its data based on interviews with nearly 11,000 people in 2015.