Forrester Research forecasts that the 34 million Americans that currently work from home will almost double to a staggering 63 million, or 43% of the US workforce by 2016. Think about that, in just a couple years, almost half of all Americans will be working from their house rather than in an office.
The work habits of these millennials is also changing. As shown below, not only will the traditional office environment dissipate, but these new age employees will have their own unique, operating styles, varied schedules and locations available to them. They are described and broken down into these five categories:
- The Homebody - the remote telecommuter operating from home
- The Night Owl - the more productive after midnight worker
- The Multi-Media Tasker - modern technology brings multitasking to a whole, new level
- The Hobby Lobbyist - people doing their own thing online
- The Nomad - our modern day traveling worker
Here’s a peek behind the screen of a home-based worker:
No more boss means no more fellowsCountry music star Johnny Paycheck had a very popular song that told our boss to take this job and, you know the rest, but when you say goodbye to your boss, you are also leaving behind your fellow employees. Whether they annoy you with gossip or delight you with their conversations, often you are depriving yourself of new friends, collegues and acquaintances.
Distraction versus attentionMany would think that you could also say goodbye to office annoyances and responsibilities of constantly answering ringing telephones, but being at home can present a number of different distractions. For example, recently our neighbors’ house was sold and the noisy remodeling contractors are buzz sawing and pounding on my last nerve.
Others may feel that home-based employees have complete freedom, although there is some flexibility, more often there are timelines that need to be followed. You can’t necessarily roll out of bed whenever you feel like it and start your work day.
Home, sweet homeWhether your office or work environment was sloppy or pristine, you still need to have an effective and efficient workspace. If you operate better with a messy desk, then so be it. Sometimes you will need to communicate to other household members or older children that you are working and can’t be disturbed. If household traffic is still a problem, perhaps your home office is better based behind closed doors rather than in the living room.
With advancing technologies and the increase of mobility given to us with smartphones and tablets, the future is looking a lot brighter and perhaps a little closer to home.
Hilary L. Smith is a guest author and online journalist whose writing covers business telecommunications, globalization and virtual and event technology. Follow her on Twitter to read more of her writing!