Only 7% of U.S. employers currently allow employees to telecommute, but that number may grow now that the news is out that employers can save more than $11,000 per half-time telecommuter per year when they offer the benefit.
The “2017 State of Telecommuting in the U.S. Employee Workforce” report by Global Workplace Analytics and FlexJobs estimates that the absenteeism (31%), real estate (25%), and voluntary turnover (10%) costs will decrease — and that productivity will increase by 15% — with half-time telecommuting for 3.9 million current commuters. The move also would save employers a collective $41.9 billion per year. That number could reach up to $689 billion once 62 million employees begin telecommuting, according to the report.
The report, which analyzed U.S. Census data from 2005 to 2015, found that telecommuting has grown by 115% since 2005, nearly 10 times faster than the rest of the workforce, and that telecommuters make, on average, $4,000 more in annual income than non-telecommuters.
Although telecommuting is most popular in Boulder, Colorado (8.5%), metro areas like Chattanooga, Tennessee (325%), New Haven, Connecticut (235%) and Las Vegas (227%) have seen exponential growth in telecommuting over the past decade, according to the report.
Overall, the report found that larger companies and employers based in New England and the mid-Atlantic regions are more likely to offer telecommuting.
Similarly, the report found that half-time telecommuters gain 11 days a year that are normally spent commuting.
It would also take equate to taking more than 600,000 cars off the road for a year, according to the report.
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