Why ‘Work from Home’ no Longer Means Staying In

Once considered a perk of employment, working from home (now referred to in most job descriptions and tweets from people who aren’t in the office simply as “WFH”) is increasingly becoming a way of business life.

The numbers have risen dramatically in recent years, based on statistics gathered by globalworkplaceanalytics.com. The number of employees of companies who worked from home at least some of the time rose 70.4 percent from 2005 to 2012, the last year statistics are available. For people who worked with nonprofit organizations, the increase was 87.6 percent during that period.

The report “The State of Telework in the U.S.”, which is based on Census Bureau statistics, says regular telecommuters will total 4.9 million by 2016.

With so many people telecommuting some, or even all of the time, taking advantage of advances in mobile technology, communications and believing that they can be more productive, it is a trend that is likely to continue.

It makes a lot of sense, reducing wasted time spent commuting to the office, decreasing congestion at rush hour on the roads and on public transportation, and helping workers balance their family responsibilities with the job.

Of course, some workers who spend a large amount of time in a WFH scenario do report that they miss the social interaction they get at work, and find they get a bit bored with spending all of their time in the home office.

Thanks to improved access to WiFi networks in some cities, many restaurants and coffee houses, working from home is increasingly changing in meaning to simply “working anywhere I like, as long as it’s not the office. Whether you choose to hang out in Starbucks or you are lucky enough to live in one of the many coastal cities in places that now have WiFi enabled beaches, remote workers can now choose the location they feel most comfortable and inspired, pick up their laptop, smartphone, tablet and whatever else they need, and head out for a relaxing but productive day.