Right now, approximately 34 million workers in the United States work from home or a remote location at least one day a week. That number is expected to almost double -- to 63 million
-- by 2016. That represents a staggering 43% of the U.S. workforce.
It's about time.
As we've written here before, telecommuting just makes sense. It reduces stress, it reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and it reduces costs for both employee and employer.
Now, some people (be they managers or co-workers or whatever) think that people who telecommute are just goofing off. You know why? Because that's what they'd do if they were in the same situation. Or because they're just not adult enough to imagine that a fellow employee is working if they can't see you working.
There's also the flip side: sometimes teleworking makes it too hard to separate work life from home life. If you're not careful, you can find yourself working 20 hours a day.
If you're not telecommuting yet, start making the case for its value with your bosses. Then, set expectations: people will be able to reach you during set hours, not any hour of the day. Finally, show that you're working. Keep communicating by phone and email and IM, so everyone knows where you are with your work even if they can't see where you are while you're working.
Telecommuting works. And hey, 34 million Americans can't be wrong. So do your part to save the planet by staying home.