Cyber Dialogue, a New York-based research and consulting firm has determined there are now over 15.7 million telecommuters in the American economy.
Telecommuting was defined in the research as working at home for an outside employer during normal business hours for a minimum of one day per month. The findings are based on interviews with 2,000 Americans 18 years of age and older.
The research identified three categories of telecommuters: full-time employees, contract workers and part-time employees who telecommute informally. Full-time employees who telecommute now total 7.4 million workers. These employees work from home an average of 18 hours each week, or about 2.5 days per week. Almost half are employed by small businesses with less than 100 employees, while 1.8 million, or 24 percent, work for large companies with 1,000 or more employees.
Over 90 percent of the 4 million contract-based telecommuters report that they work for companies with fewer than 100 employees. None reported working for large companies with 1,000 or more employees.
The large segment of 4.3 million part-time workers who telecommute informally were found to be comprised largely of retirees and homemakers who are capitalizing on the full-employment economy to supplement income via home-based work. Almost three out of four in this segment are women — by far the highest ratio of the three telecommuting segments.