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More Americans Now Work Full-Time From Home Than Walk and Bike To Office Jobs (qz.com) 73

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Quartz: In the United States, the past decade has been marked by booming cities, soaring rents, and a crush of young workers flocking to job-rich downtowns. Although these are heady days for pavement-pounding urbanists, a record 2.6% of American employees now go to their jobs without ever leaving their houses. That's more than walk and bike to work combined. These numbers come from a Quartz analysis of data from the U.S. census and the American Community Survey. The data show that telecommuting has grown faster than any other way of getting to work -- up 159% since 2000. By comparison, the number of Americans who bike to work has grown by 86% over the same period, while the number who drive or carpool has grown by only 12%. We've excluded both part-time and self-employed workers from these and all results. Though managers are the largest group of remote workers, as a percentage of a specific occupation computer programmers are the most over-represented. Nearly 8% of programmers now work from home, following a staggering increase of nearly 400% since 2000.
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More Americans Now Work Full-Time From Home Than Walk and Bike To Office Jobs

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  • since they probably don't count illegal immigrants but almost certainly count the kinds of higher level office workers how work from home.

    Also, It'd be hard to imagine a more irrelevant metric given how few Americans walk/bike to work. I mean, in theory I can bike to work but it's a 70 minute run one way and I'll get to work covered in sweat...
    • by kaka.mala.vachva ( 1164605 ) on Thursday April 13, 2017 @05:56PM (#54231557)
      The comparison only makes sense if the submitter was trying to tie up the story to the pressure on our roads at commute time. Working from home, cycling and walking are alternatives to driving to work.
      • The comparison only makes sense if the submitter was trying to tie up the story to the pressure on our roads at commute time. Working from home, cycling and walking are alternatives to driving to work.

        Makes sense to count transit as well then.

        Besides, I'm not certain that biking actually equates less pressure on the roads. Certainly some place like China (or even Amsterdam) once you hit a critical mass you get more capacity simply by the fact that so many tiny vehicles can fit on the road at the same time. But in North America I suspect the extra complexity caused by a bike on the roadway is going to slow things down.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "they probably don't count illegal immigrants"

      They're obviously not at home, so, duh?
    • Since roughly 57% of all statistics are made up, you should be suspicious...or maybe I made that statistic up.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    You better be the best of the freaking best, because you're one step away from being outsourced to someone else remote who costs 1/8th of what you do.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah but I like reading the newspaper at Starbucks in the morning, doing my errands during "lunch time", and having my yoga class at 3:30pm right before picking up the kids.

      I'm much more productive when I work at home.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by shadowknot ( 853491 ) *
      So true, I actually just interviewed a guy today who had been working from home for over a decade and had his job outsourced to South America, a fairly familiar story.
      • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Thursday April 13, 2017 @06:44PM (#54231747)
        The same happens to people who work in an office. Offices for knowledge workers are mostly a way for lazy managers to make sure you're "working," even if that entails watching Youtube cat videos at your desk. OTOH, someone who's been a successful contributor from a home office has a demonstrated ability to self-motivate without physical oversight. If they work best at 3 AM, and like to sleep during the day, why should it matter?

        It's obviously position dependent. An autoworker can't work at home, a salesperson who's making customer calls all day - what does "office" really mean? For knowledge workers, it's mostly dependent on their ability to contribute. Technology provides many ways to collaborate without physical presence.
        • For knowledge workers, it's mostly dependent on their ability to contribute. Technology provides many ways to collaborate without physical presence.

          Dude.

          If it's remote you, or my in the office lunch buddies... who do you think we are all going to throw under the stacked ranking bus, come peer performance review time?

          • by msauve ( 701917 )
            You work in a very toxic environment. I have no desire to work there.
            • You work in a very toxic environment. I have no desire to work there.

              Well, I can definitely sympathize with not wanting to work for a company of more than 50 employees in the technology sector, but it kind of is what it is. If you worked an agricultural job, unless you remote control a "robot" tractor (is a waldo/drone really a robot? Since when?), your in every day.

              There's a great belief in sympathetic magic in this sector, where if you "Do like Google/Facebook/Twitter/Apple/Microsoft/Amazon/... does, and you will be successful, like Google/Facebook/Twitter/Apple/Microsof

              • by msauve ( 701917 )
                I've worked in 3 employee companies, and 30.000+ ones, east, west, and midwest. The only stack ranking, ever, occurred only when there were impending "layoffs." And that ranking was alway done by direct management, and not cliquish peers. Shove your business-talk terminology (really, "Nash equilibrium?" Are you a fcking leach of an MBA, unable to produce value on your own?) where it won't see the sun, because it's part of the toxic culture.
                • I've worked in 3 employee companies, and 30.000+ ones, east, west, and midwest. The only stack ranking, ever, occurred only when there were impending "layoffs." And that ranking was alway done by direct management, and not cliquish peers. Shove your business-talk terminology (really, "Nash equilibrium?" Are you a fcking leach of an MBA, unable to produce value on your own?) where it won't see the sun, because it's part of the toxic culture.

                  I'm not an MBA. I've worked at IBM, Apple, Google, and half a dozen other companies. Only the small ones -- mostly startups -- didn't do stacked ranking.

                  If your 30,000+ employee companies that don't practice peer review, they must not be Fortune 500 technology companies, because in any technology firm of any size: stacked ranking with peer review" is how it's done.

                  You may think it's toxic; I prefer to think of it as "a very very large paycheck".

          • Yeah, what sibling said.

            I get that office culture and politics practically requires face-time, but any environment where they put priority on the Good-Old-Boy network is one in which you do not want to be working. I've turned down job offers before due to the culture sucking (it's fairly easy to spot, even in interviews. If you're not sure, ask - what they don't tell you in return says more than what they do tell you.)

            All that said, you can rig-up a hybrid arrangement, where you work from home 3-4 days a we

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      Same when working in the office. I was in both situations. :(

    • I think that is an excellent point and I'm surprised it got modded down. I work from home, and I am the best of the best (or at least the third highest paid engineer out of 1000), but yes, at some point it is possible that 'they' could find an English speaking engineer who can do my job effectively and has my experience but would be paid less. If I find her first then I'll be her agent.

      But, that person doesn't seem to be likely to come from any of the obvious outsourcing countries.So a factor of 8 on salary

  • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Thursday April 13, 2017 @06:38PM (#54231721) Homepage

    So major trend and yet the M&M at Yahoo killed it all because it needed to steal ideas from employees to claim them as it's own, really lame, Yahoo reaching back to the last millennium through incompetence. You have to think how pissed off the Yahoo coders must have be, they had it and same lame arse peter principle bitch stole it, no wonder Yahoo crashed into a screaming heap, all those security lapses, very pissed off insider revenge, high level extremely skilled and well coordinated insider revenge (no trail left behind, none). I forgot how much fun working from home was, it was decades ago and to have that taken and they knew exactly why, well, there will be repercussions, bad repercussion pissing off thousands of staff because you are incompetent and need to steal other people's ideas to look good.

  • More Americans Now Work Full-Time From Home Than Walk and Bike To Office Jobs

    How is that significant?

    At some point in history there were more computers than waffle irons but I don't remember anyone making a news story out of it...

  • by w3woody ( 44457 ) on Thursday April 13, 2017 @07:19PM (#54231909) Homepage

    As someone who used to bike to work, I understand how it is possible more people work at home instead. To be able to walk to work or to bike to work is a luxury driven by being able to live close enough to where you work--and for many jobs that means living in a highly populous urban core or being wealthy enough (or in my case, lucky enough) to live in a home near the downtown corridor where your job is located.

    Working at home, on the other hand, is simply a function of having the right job. And I know quite a few people who work at home: I know a couple of people who work for Apple as customer support who work out of their homes, and I know of a bunch of account managers at YP.com who work out of their homes. If your job involves a lot of time talking to people on the phone or chatting over the Internet, it doesn't really matter where you are located so long as you have a phone line and an internet connection.

  • by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Thursday April 13, 2017 @08:19PM (#54232177) Journal

    Is this really news? I live in an area where it rains pretty much the year round. Biking to work isn't impossible, merely challenging and unpleasant. I wonder if the uptick in biking to work is not because biking has become more popular but because there exists more circumstances (crowded downtown, difficulty with parking) where it's the only practical option.

    On the other hand, the only factors keeping us from a huge uptick in working from home are (a) old school company policies, and (b) lack of broadband. And perversely, access to broadband is reportedly *less* likely downtown, (I believe there was a slashdot article on that last year) due to legacy wiring, (low speed dsl only) giving the edge for work-from-homers to the suburbs which are more likely to have cable or fiber. Suburb professionals also being the same class that are looking at a possible hellish auto commute and impractical logistics to bike into downtown, increasing the attraction of WFH.

    I'd be interested in seeing the statistics broken out by distance from work, and perhaps split between jobs downtown and jobs in the suburbs. (For instance, the Intel plants -- major tech employer -- in this area are *not* downtown, but quite a bit out west of the city. So biking to work is more practical, but driving to work is more appealing also.)

    I dunno, the more I think about it the more complicated the picture gets. I don't think percentage increases in commuting categories for all of America would necessarily lead to valid conclusions.

    And incidentally, regarding the old school policies ("If you work from home, you work for someone else, not us") it's amusing how a company with strict rules *against* work from home will happily employ offshore programmers who (for all they know) are balancing an old laptop across their knees in a tin shack. But dammit, the locals they employ had better the hell have butts in cubicle seats first thing every morning.

  • Even BestBuy who poineered Roowe for working at home results only now requires employees to come in. Yahoo no longer allows this and Facebook bans this and so are others. It seems it's on the way out as employers now focus on hours at the desk with face time to watch results and keep an eye seems to be more important in trends recently

  • On my prior jobs, I had the ability to work remotely when needed. But I was still expected to show up in an office every work day.

    Just started a new job where the company has a large number of people working at home full time who never have to report to an office. It is a very weird experience, mainly because everything is remote, protected by multiple layers of VPNs and VMs and custom applications and so forth. And complicated by the employees who come from all backgrounds and skill. There are grand

  • You should be looking for another one.

    You're going to be out of a job soon
  • That doesn't mean that the home office is booming, it's just that US citizens are lazy sons of bitches.

  • I'm a software Dev who has been working from home (100% of the time) since 2006. It's pretty clear to that there are huge advantages both to the employee and the employer for people to work from home. The employee, it's obvious. No travel to and from work, comfort, flexibility, privacy (something lacking in an office space and makes it hard to concentrate). You save money on lunches (I just eat leftovers from dinner for lunch), clothes (typically just wear shorts or sweat and a T shirt), wear and tear o
  • This is more proof that our cities must build more bike lanes

The aim of science is to seek the simplest explanations of complex facts. Seek simplicity and distrust it. -- Whitehead.

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