Want a job that will let you work from home, at least part of the time? Better get a college degree. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that workers with a four-year degree are much more likely to be allowed to telecommute.
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“Simply having a bachelor’s degree may be the fastest route to a workday spent on the couch with a laptop: Among workers age 25 or older, more than one in three college-educated employees did some or all of their work from home last year,” writes Greg Toppo at USA Today. “For those with just a high school diploma, it was one in eight.”
The odds were even worse for those who didn’t graduate from high school: just 1 in 20 were able to work from home.
At-home workers on are the rise: 13.4 million workers did some or all of their work at home in 2012, over four million more than did so in 1997. A full 23 percent of employed people worked at home at least part of the time, according to the BLS.
Unsurprisingly, self-employed workers were most likely to work at home, but other computer-based jobs are increasingly considering the option, and no wonder. As Carrie Murphy at The Grindstone points out, it often benefits both employers, who love the increased productivity (and, often, working hours) and employees, who enjoy the flexibility:
“I have a college degree (as well as a graduate degree) and I do work from home,” Murphy writes. “I really, really love it. I love the flexibility, I love the freedom, I love being able to cook my lunch or walk my dog in the middle of the day. I don’t know that working from home will work for me forever, but for the time being, it’s ideal for my job and my lifestyle. I’m acutely aware of how lucky I am to be able to do it, and I hope that, as the work world continues to change and evolve, this option will be available to others who are interested in making their home into their office.”
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