The 50-Foot Commute Takes Off Across America

Jeff Khau examines the rise in the teleworking population and what this demographic shift means for cities.
September 20, 2012, 5am PDT | Emily Williams
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Around the world, teleworking, or telecommuting, is seeing an increase in popularity as more people choose to work from home. European and American policy has followed suit, crafting regulations to protect teleworkers' rights and encourage more "work-at-home" employees.

Khau reports that statistics from the American Community Survey have confirmed an increase of the teleworking population in the US, stating that it "grew 61% between 2005 and 2009." According to the study, the greatest increase was among federal government staff, followed by municipal state workers.

These findings could be highly influential for agencies and businesses looking to cut administrative costs, argues Khau. There are a few kinks to work out in the research, however, such as distinguishing part-time and full-time hours and the relationship between teleworking and employee productivity levels.

With a growing population punching in on their laptops, shifts in urban development catering to this demographic are beginning to take place in the form of shared office spaces like BLANKSPACES and Liquidspace. These new services encourage a social atmosphere for teleworkers so that those who work remotely are still very much connected to their community.

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Published on Monday, September 17, 2012 in New Geography
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