More and more individuals are realizing the potential of working from home. With various career options, the population is beginning to ditch their commute, setting up their office at home. First, we’ll look at the numbers, both in the UK and the United States. We will then focus on the both the positives and negatives of this career shift.
Number of People Working From Home in the UK
In the summer of this year, the number of UK residents that were working from home, had risen to 4.2 million. Considering that this amounts to 13.9% of the population, it seems that working from home has been the solution to many people’s career problems.
Not only are these individuals working from home, but they tend to be in highly skilled roles in comparison to other workers. This stay-at-home population is commonly self-employed, older in age, and earning more than the rest of the working population. Although many individuals live in rural areas, the decision was surprisingly made not out of necessity, but rather as a lifestyle change (of course, eliminating any commuting). At-home workers are quickly realizing that they can make a living, while staying in the comfort of their home.
When it comes to being self-employed, many enjoy the type of freedom it brings. It was found that a whopping 63% of home workers were self-employed, whereas only 7% of workers in the regular workforce were self-employed. Also, approximately three-quarters of home workers were in highly skilled positions (professionals, managers, and skilled positions).
From 1998, the number of individuals working from home was 2.9 million. This was when record numbers started to surface. Individuals began working in home studios, using their home as a travel base, or creating workshops on the grounds.
With new technology, there’s more opportunity than ever. This population is not working from home because there’s a lack of jobs. They’re seeking positions at home, because there is so much opportunity out there. In some areas, such as West Somerset, the number of home workers were approximately 25.7% of that area’s population.
In terms of pay, the median rate was £13.23 per hour, in comparison to £10.50 for other workers. Within these roles, the most common role for males is construction opportunities, while child and care work were the most prevalent for females.
Number of People Working From Home in the United States
Last year, it was found that the number of American home workers was growing. In the previous year, 30 million individuals worked from home at least one day a week. That number is expected to increase by 63% over the next five years.
Of the American population, more than 3 million individuals do not work outside of their own home. Of this population, majority say they are happier that way. Not only do you have more freedom in terms of what you work on and your hours, but you save time and money. It was expected that home employees saved anywhere between $1600-$6800 and 15 days of time, which would be spent commuting (driving and taking public transportation).
This time is better spent focusing on assignments and projects. At-home workers are not only seen as more productive - especially in telecommunication, but they have the option to work late. If you have a home office, it never closes.
Positive and Negatives of Working From Home
Before you decide if working from home is for you, take some of the positives and negatives into account. The following positives are the top reasons that employees want to work from home:
- Avoid the Commute (63-71%). In cities such as Seattle and Chicago, you need to give yourself twice the regular commuting time at peak hours of the day, as traffic is so bad. These individuals also mentioned being closer to family members (especially their children).
- Greater Flexibility (49-66%). If you have an appointment, you do not have to take off a full day. You can also choose your hours, depending on other needs and events in your life. You can work where you’d like, adjusting the setting, temperature, and anything else. Basically, you’re in control of producing an optimal environment, making you more productive overall.
- Higher levels of Productivity (31-45%). There are simply less distractions at home. There are no distractions from colleagues, any unnecessary meetings, and more.
- Save Money (28-31%).
Working from home also creates a better work-life balance. There’s also lower levels of stress experienced, as well as improved health. This is largely correlated with not needing to commute long distances.
Some of the main disadvantages are:
- Isolation: When you’re taken out of an office, you’re also removed from the social atmosphere. Working from home can be lonely, as you do not get to converse with many people (in comparison to the normal work force).
- Difficulty Separating Work from Home: While you’re home, you may be tempted to take care of household issues and chores. You may feel as though you should clean, cook, or go shopping. You need to draw the line, focusing on work, then focusing on your home life.
- Need for High-Discipline: This career is not an option for everyone, as you need to have self-control, dedication, and high levels of motivation. You need to stay focused in order to succeed.
If you think that you have the skills and dedication required, why not look into working from home? There are various career options, allowing individuals to avoid commutes, choose their own hours, while being closer to their family.