Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Working at home

The 2010 census data are just arriving, but I did not know that considerable working-at-home data are available from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, the latest for 2005.

In that year almost 8 percent of those working worked at home at least some of the time. Almost a third of these reported a "mixed" schedule, whereby they also spent some time at a traditional workplace. Both groups came from the higher income and more educated respondents.

Of those who reported being wholly home-based, 53 percent were self-employed and the rest were employees. Both of these groups were about evenly divided between males and females.

Of the three groups (only at home, mixed, and traditional workplace), the mixed group averaged the most hours worked per week.

Surprisingly (to me), the majority in both of the work-at-home respondents said that their schedule was a "requirement of the job". Only 5 percent mentioned better child care.

There is much more and we'll soon see how these numbers developed in 2010.

Is less face time with colleagues a plus or a minus? Which group will be most productive? Those with the "mixed" schedules? Many questions remain to be addressed.