Working from home is becoming more prevalent but growth is slow, according to a new report by Statistics Canada.
In 2008, just under 1.8 million employees worked at home, compared with about 1.4 million in 2000, according to "Working at home: An update." They represented 11.2 per cent of all paid employees in 2008, up from 10.2 per cent in 2000.
However, for proportion of self-employed workers working from home increased more substantially over the same time, jumping from 1.4 million (50 per cent of all self-employed workers) in 2000 to 1.8 million (60 per cent of all self-employed workers) in 2008.
When employees and the self-employed are combined, the overall proportion of Canadians working at home increased from 17 per cent to 19 per cent.
Employees who work at home, at least occasionally, are more likely to have a university degree and be in professional or managerial jobs, found the report.
In 2008, 54 per cent of all employees who worked at home had a university degree, compared with 25 per cent of those who never worked at home. Similarly, 55 per cent of employees who worked at home at least occasionally were in professional or managerial jobs, compared with 23 per cent of employees who did not work at home.
Of all employees, about 10 per cent of women worked at home, slightly less than the 12 per cent for men. Among professional employees, however, the gap between the sexes was wider: 29 per cent of male professionals worked at home compared with 19 per cent of female professionals in 2008.
The most common reason for working at home, cited by 25 per cent of employees, was that it was a job requirement. The next most common reasons were that it provided better working conditions (23 per cent) and that home was their usual place of work (18 per cent).
The worker's family situation and distance between the home and workplace were also factors. In 2008, 12 per cent of female self-employed workers reported that they were working at home for family reasons, compared with three per cent of their male counterparts.
Among employees who lived within four kilometres of their workplaces, seven per cent had worked at home, compared with 13 per cent of those who lived at least 30 kilometres away.
© Copyright Canadian HR Reporter, Thomson Reuters Canada Limited. All rights reserved.