Once thought of as a workplace trend, telecommuting has become a preferred way of doing business. Beneficial for both employers and employees, telecommuting continues to grow in popularity, with more organizations adopting flexible work policies that allow them to attract top talent (and more importantly, retain them), and have a happier, more productive workforce.

Findings from Gallup’s annual Work and Education poll seem to reinforce these facts. In a poll of over 1,000 American adults, 37 percent have telecommuted. This figure is up from 30 percent in the past decade. Interestingly enough, it’s four times more than the 9 percent of U.S. workers who telecommuted just 20 years ago.

The Latest Remote Work Stats

Who’s telecommuting?

The poll also found that telecommuting seems to be more common among certain workers in the U.S. workforce. For example, remote workers tend to be those with higher education, who are upper class, and also hold white-collar jobs. Of course, this isn’t to say that only a specific set of people can telecommute, since flexible work spans many fields, education levels, and economic backgrounds as well.

How much are people working from home?

Further findings show that U.S. workers telecommute about twice a month, and 9 percent say that they work from home 10+ days a month, which is at least half the workdays each month. The average number of workers say they telecommute about 6.4 workdays monthly.

When are people working remotely?

In the past, workers would telecommute outside of working hours (i.e. in the evenings or early mornings) in addition to going into the office. Now, they report telecommuting during the day as well, which is a significant shift in how telecommuting is being used.

Are remote workers more or less productive?

And for those questioning how productive a telecommuting workforce can truly be, the majority of Americans believe that those who work remotely are just as productive as those who toil away in a traditional office. In fact, 58 percent of those polled believe this, up from 47 percent back in 1995 (and 24 percent claim they are even more productive!).  

Numerous studies have shown that a flexible work force tends to be more engaged and productive than its in-office peers. Gallup’s research backs this up, stating that companies that have a flexible work policy in place, had a more engaged workforce.

Based on these new remote work stats, it’s easy to see that companies stand to gain a lot from having a remote workplace. So if you’re contemplating expanding flexible work options to your employees, there’s no time like the present to start taking advantage of its numerous benefits!