About one in five workers worldwide telecommute: poll

Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:19am EST
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - About one in five workers around the globe, particularly employees in the Middle East, Latin America and Asia, telecommute frequently and nearly 10 percent work from home every day, according to a new Ipsos/Reuters poll.

Telecommuting is particularly popular in India where more than half of workers were most likely to be toiling from home, followed by 34 percent in Indonesia, 30 percent in Mexico and slightly less in Argentina, South Africa and Turkey.

But the job option is the least popular in Hungary, Germany, Sweden, France, Italy and Canada, where less than 10 percent of people work from home.

"It is really a story about the emerging markets and I am not sure if that is because the West is about to pick up the trend. They are definitely still skeptical," said Keren Gottfried, research manager at Ipsos Global Public Affairs, which conducted the survey.

"But they see a lot of advantages. Europe and North America agree that telecommuting is a great way to retain women. It provides less stress because of less commuting and provides a better work-life balance," she added in an interview.


Telecommuting refers to employees who work remotely from their office, communicating by email, phone or online chats, either daily or occasionally.

Advances in technology and communications have enabled people to work effectively and efficiently without being constantly at their desks in the company office.   Continued...

<p>Cars drive along a main road in central Beijing January 12, 2012. Car sales in China climbed 5.2 percent in 2011, the slowest pace since the nation's car culture took off at the turn of the century, as consumers shunned local brands after Beijing scrapped tax incentives for small cars. REUTERS/David Gray</p>