Is Telecommuting Here to Stay?

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that more Americans are ditching office camaraderie and regular work hours for the chance to work from home in pajamas or while sipping lattes at their favorite coffee shops.

The American Time Use Survey, which measures the amount of time people spend doing various activities like work, childcare and volunteering, shows that about 12% of full-time workers with a single job did some work at home on an average day between 2003 and 2007.

But it’s not clear, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, if people are leaving work early and completing their 40 hours at home or taking on part-time virtual work in addition to their day jobs.

Virtual internships, where interns don’t have to meet their boss or go into an office so long as they have a working computer and internet access, fit into the latter category.

They give interns a convenient way gain experience in other industries while going to school or maintaining a day job that pays the bills.

For entrepreneurs, working virtually is the most economic way to launch a start-up while lowering or eliminating keeping overhead costs.

The survey backed this trend, showing that self-employed workers were more prone to work at home than wage and salary workers, spending 24% of their total weekly hours at home, compared with 4% for salary workers.

Photo by Scumfrog.

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