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29 Mar. 2019 | Comments (0)

Over the past few years, many of the world’s top companies have reduced or eliminated the option to work from home. Bank of America, IBM and Aetna all made news over their decision to change course.

But are they trendsetters or outliers? A look at the data points to the latter.

Every year since 2005, the share of full-time employees working primarily from home has increased. Looking at white-collar occupations only, the significance of this upward trend becomes quite visible.

Between 2010 and 2017, 16 percent of all white-collar jobs added to the economy were filled by workers primarily working from home. And that number is conservative because it excludes those who worked part-time, self-employed workers and workers who telecommuted only part of the workweek.

Not surprisingly, some occupations better lend themselves to working from home than others. As the chart illustrates, computer- and mathematics-related occupations have experienced the fastest growth. 

Blue-collar and low-pay service workers, as one might expect, have experienced the lowest share of teleworking. Technology has yet to reach a point where you can phone into a construction site.

What accounts for the rise in telecommuting?

Much of the increase lies in the changing nature of work itself. Advanced technologies enable seamless remote working from anywhere in the world and at any time of the day. Moreover, younger generations of employees want more flexibility than their elders.

This op-ed was originally published by The Hill. Continue reading here

  • About the Author:Gad Levanon, PhD

    Gad Levanon, PhD

    Gad Levanon is Vice President, Labor Markets for The Conference Board, where he oversees the labor market, US forecasting, and Help Wanted OnLine© programs. His research focuses on trends in…

    Full Bio | More from Gad Levanon, PhD

  • About the Author:Frank Steemers

    Frank Steemers

    Frank Steemers is an Economist at The Conference Board and his expertise is primarily in the analysis of the labor market in the US and other mature economies. Based in New York, he conducts statistic…

    Full Bio | More from Frank Steemers


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