Some Potential Telecommuters Turn Down Opportunity

July 13, 2006 ( - Less than half of workers able to telecommute actually work outside the office, according to a new survey.

According to a news release, the National Technology Readiness Survey (NTRS) for 2006 and 2006 found that a quarter of respondents told pollsters they would be allowed to telecommute. However, according to the announcement from the sponsors of the survey, Robert H. Smith School of Business’ Center for Excellence in Service at the University of Maryland and technology research firm Rockbridge Associates Inc., only 11% telecommute regularly.

The NTRS asserted that the situation is costing the US economy $3.9 billion a year in fuel and time equal to 470,000 jobs.

“With national gas prices hovering near $3 a gallon, American workers could suffer less pain at the pump if they took advantage of workplace telecommuting policies,” Roland Rust, executive director of the Center for Excellence in Service, said in the news release. “In addition to saving billions of dollars to the economy, the time and money saved on a long commute – even just two days a week could significantly increase productivity and employee satisfaction.”

Findings include:

  • Only 2% of working adults telecommute full time; another 9% telecommute part time and 8% have home-based businesses.
  • Ninety-one percent of full- and part-time workers with a commute drive to work.
  • The median commuting time that US workers reported is 20 minutes each way, and the median distance is 10 miles each way.
  • Of those who could feasibly telecommute, less than half would choose to do so more than two days per week and 14% would not telecommute at all.
  • Eighty-two percent of full-time American workers have a Web connection at home, 69% of which are high speed.

The report is at . A summary is at .