While there's plenty of debate about the value of telecommuting, (especially after Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's decision to end the practice at the floundering company), the truth is that it's only becoming more popular the world over. As the infographic below proves, the United States is far behind many other countries when it comes to the percentage of the population working from home. As a person who works at home about three-fourths of the time, I can't imagine working any other way again, and I'm in the midst of closing that final gap; by the autumn, I will be working from wherever I call home (I plan to do some traveling) 100 percent of the time.
My decision to work this way (that's me in the image above) was made because I have had five different office jobs, and every single one of them under-utilized me. I would sit around bored for hours at a time, waiting for work, asking for work, volunteering for more assignments, all to no avail. At one such job, I founded an award-winning website that's still going strong eight years later; at another, I did additional part-time freelance work. It was increasingly frustrating to me to have to sit at a desk after I'd completed my assignments for hours when it was beautiful outside. Turns out, I am a very efficient worker, so I can maximize my free time (which for me means time working on personal creative projects), if I'm paid by the project as opposed to sitting in an office killing time. Working at home also works for me since some days I just don't feel like getting all gussied up; as a woman, having days when I have a free pass to forego hair and makeup, and get high-quality work done without wearing a bra or heels (with my favorite cat in my lap) is a beautiful thing.
Working at home means I exercise more, since I can make my own schedule and take those mid-day classes at the gym, and I eat more healthfully and cheaply, since I make my own giant salads or omlettes for lunch. For me, being a virtual worker really works, though I understand that it doesn't for many (some people genuinely enjoy dealing with coworkers face-to-face; as an introvert, I tend to hide during "office parties"). I'm healthier in general since I'm more relaxed, don't have to commute (which in my area is quite stressful) and am always able to get enough sleep.
Check out the telecommuting stats below from howdoibecomea.net. Do you want to work from home or have you tried it and not liked it?
Related on MNN:
- What you need to know before deciding to work from home
- Why Yahoo's work-from-home decision was the right one
- 5 ways I stay focused while working from home