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Are There More People Working From Home In Florida Than Other States?

1 March 2012 No Comment

Looking at our stats as far as visitors to the website and those people looking for working from home jobs, it seems an alarming number of requests comes from Florida, but more specifically the Miami region. Over the years I’ve considered moving to the sunny south, as I’ve never really taken advantage of the work from home lifestyle. I could easily pack my laptop, towel and sunblock and head to the beach to work if I lived in Florida. Working from home means you have the opportunity to work from just about anywhere, especially in my case where I don’t have to be in a physical office. There are times when the job may require you to be close to your employer, for meetings  etc. But 90% of all the people who work from home, do so from quite a distance. Meetings and brain-storming sessions are done via online chat, like Skype and other custom programs.

Here’s a recent article I came across, which highlights the popularity of Telecommuting and Working At Home in the sunny south..

4% of Miamians Working from Home, and Number Rising

More than 4% of Miami-Dade County’s workforce works out of a home office, a percentage experts expect to skyrocket by the end of the decade.

The US Census Bureau records that in the 2010 census, 4.16% of workers in Miami-Dade said they worked out of their homes, up from 2.68% 10 years earlier.

According to a recent survey from TechCast at George Washington University, less than 4% of private sector across the US now work from home, but “that figure could reach as high as 30% by 2019.”

Chuck Wilsker, president and founder of The Telework Coalition, a telework education and advocacy group based in Washington, says 30% is a conservative estimate.

“At least 40% of the workforce, representing 33 million Americans, has jobs that can be performed remotely, either part-time or fulltime,” he said, “and that number is going to be growing. We’re an information-based economy.”

While the high cost of office space and the recession have contributed to the trend, Mr. Wilsker said, “over the past 10 years, nothing has made the phone ring more than pain at the pump — hikes in the price of gasoline.”

Telework’s research has shown that, contrary to what many believe, employees who work at home are more productive, retention is higher and recruiting is easier. The rising generation, Mr. Wilsker said, has grown up with mobile technology and they’re demanding a more mobile lifestyle.

Cost analyses, he said, show economic benefits on both sides. Employers save an average of $20,000 a year in office space, overhead, parking and the like. For the stay-at-home employee, who saves not only on gas and wear and tear on a car but also on clothing, dry cleaning, meals and other incidentals, the average is $8,000 a year.

Right Space Management now has co-working options in all its facilities, said CEO & Manager Carolina Rendeiro. Its new 4,000-square-foot offices at 100 Miracle Mile cater exclusively to the mobile worker who doesn’t want to work out of a hotel room or home-based workers with an occasional need for meeting space and other shared facilities. Users choose from an assortment of monthly membership packages.

Ms. Rendeiro, a former president of the Global Workspace Association, travels extensively to talk about the changing workplace.

“The workforce is moving into the mobile market. We are seeing it more and more,” she said. “Large companies are downsizing their real estate portfolios, using a “work smarter, not harder’ strategy. They’re telling employees to work anyplace other than the corporate office.”

“In 2005, there were no co-working facilities in the US; now, there are 650,” she said. “According to a recent industry survey, employers report this new approach to workspace has translated into millions of dollars in savings on infrastructure, a significant increase in productivity and more content employees.”

The option to work at home is an incentive for the younger generation, Ms. Rendeiro said. “They don’t want a structured office environment at this stage of the game.

“Baby boomers are also looking for an environment that will keep them active. So the movement has grown tremendously.”

Locally, rbb public relations, based in Coral Gables, has a telecommuting program that helps with employee retention in a transient industry, said CEO Christine Barney.

Employees can choose from a number of options: customized start and end times, telecommuting full time or part-time, or pre-approved telecommuting on a spot or project basis.

“We started in 2001 with a few long-term employees who needed more flexibility to care for children or aging parents,” she said, “and it has grown dramatically.”

Of rbb’s 38 employees, 30 telecommute at least some of the time.

While the company’s office space has not shrunk, Ms. Barney said, its configuration has changed.

“We did away with individual offices because we needed more communal space,” she said. All employees are given laptops and cell phones to encourage mobility. The company switched to a cloud-based time billing and expense-based management system. Flex work policies and guidelines have been established.

“Giving people the right tools to be successful is more than half the battle,” Ms. Barney said. “It means trusting that the employee knows where and when and how to get the work done, but if the work is getting done, the client is happy and peer reviews from teammates are positive, that’s all I need to know as a manager.”

SOURCE: Miami Today

AUTHOR: Marilyn Bowden

URL: http://www.miamitodaynews.com/news/120301/story3.shtml

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