More and more businesses around the world are realizing the benefits of letting employees work remotely. When asked to choose the three business functions best suited for remote working, survey respondents note sales first and foremost (64%) followed by customer-service staff (49%) and marketing-related functions (40%).
The International Telework Association & Council (ITAC) has been conducting surveys on teleworkers in the US since 1995 and estimates 23.5 million employed Americans worked from home during business hours at least one day per month in 2003.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports there were 138.5 million employed Americans in March 2004. eMarketer estimates that 19.2% of these Americans, or 26.6 million, worked at home in their primary job at least once a month. Widespread broadband in the home combined advances in wireless and mobile technology mean workers can now be as productive and efficient working outside the office as they are working in it, perhaps more so.
JALA International, in association with ITAC, forecasts over 40 million teleworkers in the US by 2010.