If anyone needs a pretty darn good reason to telecommute it's these guys: the nearly 600,000 mega-commuters whose ride to work is 90 minutes or longer and over 50 miles one way. Of those 4.3% in fact do work from home from time to time.
Based on the 2006-2010 American Community Survey, 586,805 full-time workers are mega-commuters -- one in 122 of full-time workers. These commuters were more likely to be male, older, married, make a higher salary, and have a spouse who does not work. Of the total mega-commutes, 75.4% were male and 24.6% women. Mega-commuters were also more likely to depart for work before 6 a.m. Metro areas with large populations tend to attract large flows of mega commuters, according to the Census Bureau.
Some other facts from the Census Bureau survey:
- Among U.S. workers who did not work at home, 8.1 % had commutes of 60 minutes or longer in 2011.
- An estimated 61.1 % of workers with "long commutes" drove to work alone, compared with 79.9 % for all workers who did not work at home.
- New York shows the highest rate of "long commutes" at 16.2 %, followed by Maryland and New Jersey at 14.8 and 14.6 %, respectively.
- The District of Columbia has the highest rate of out-of-state commuters among its resident workers at 25.2 %, followed by Maryland at 18.3 %.
- Among all people who work in the District of Columbia, 72.4 % live outside the District of Columbia.
- 23.0 % of workers with long commutes use public transit, compared with 5.3 % for all workers.
- The average one-way daily commute for workers across the country is 25.5 minutes, and one in four commuters leave their county to work.
The Census Bureau looked at telecommuting in a related study last fall noting that the number of people who worked at home at least one day per week increased from 9.5 million in 1999 to 13.4 million through 2010, increasing from 7.0 % to 9.5 % of all workers. The largest increase occurred between 2005 and 2010, when the share grew from 7.8 % to 9.5 % of all workers, an increase of more than 2 million.
Telecommuting has been a hot topic lately as Yahoo's CEO Marissa Mayer recently decided to end telecommuting at Yahoo - a decision that "ignited a firestorm of criticism, who has been accused of sending the company back to the digital dark ages by eliminating flexible work arrangements. Employee morale will plummet, Yahoo will lose key people, and Mayer's efforts to enhance collaboration will backfire, critics predict," according to a Network World story.
Employees consistently rank telework among the most valued perks, and pro-telework organizations are overflowing with data that makes the business case for workplace flexibility. Workers are happier, productivity rises, and people achieve a better work/life balance when they have the option to telework, advocates said in the article.
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