7 States Where the Most People Work From Home

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Wake up at 7 a.m., eat a sensible breakfast, walk back into your bedroom, put on some comfy pajama pants and your favorite slippers, and then walk into your home office and report in. For most telecommuters, a short walk is the extent of their commute to work. When you work at home, your day-to-day work life is a bit different from that of a worker who travels to a brick-and-mortar office each day.

Working from home requires a certain degree of self-regulation. This is not to say that working in a brick-and-mortar office does not require self-regulation — this simply means that because you are alone in your home, without anyone physically monitoring you as you work, you must have the discipline to swim, instead of shamming, and subsequently sinking.

Many people thrive as telecommuters. Stanford University Economics recently published the results of a study of work-from-home employees at a Chinese call center. For nine months, employees were randomly assigned to either work at home or work in a brick-and-mortar office. “Home working led to a 13% performance increase, of which 9% was from working more minutes per shift (fewer breaks and sick days) and 4% from more calls per minute (attributed to a quieter and more convenient working environment). Home workers also reported improved work satisfaction and their attrition rate halved,” the Stanford analysis reports.

Working from home is not all smiles and sunshine, though. There are often increased work-life balance concerns associated with work-from-home positions, simply by virtue of the fact that people live and work in the same physical location. Also, promotion rates have been reportedly lower among work-from-home employees who are “out of sight and out of mind” for management, especially when their performance is up to par.

For many workers and businesses alike, the good that comes along with working from home appears to outweigh the bad, though. From 1997 to 2012, 4.2 million workers joined the work-from-home community. We created a list of the states where working from home is the most common. All data come from the Census Bureau’s most recent American Community Surveys (ACS).

Source: Facebook

North Dakota

  • Total number of workers 16 and older, as of the most recent Census: 363,094
  • Number who work at home: 20,545
  • Percentage who work at home: 5.7%
  • Counties with highest percentage of home-based workers: In Billings and Oliver counties, around 25% work at home. Both counties contained less than 1,000 workers during the time of data collection.

David McNew/Getty Images

South Dakota

  • Total number of workers 16 and older: 412,161
  • Number who work at home: 23,434
  • Percentage who work at home: 5.7%
  • Counties with highest percentage of home-based workers: Harding County (28.4%) and Mellette County (32.6%). Both counties contained less than 1,000 workers during the time of data collection.

Source: Facebook

Idaho

  • Total number of workers 16 and older: 687,321
  • Number who work at home: 39,103
  • Percentage who work at home: 5.7%
  • Counties with highest percentage of home-based workers: In both Owyhee and Custer counties, more than 13% work at home.

Source: iStock

Oregon

  • Total number of workers 16 and older: 1.71 million
  • Number who work at home: 107,939
  • Percentage who work at home: 6.3%
  • Counties with highest percentage of home-based workers: Lake County (15%) and Harney County (18.4%).

Source: Thinkstock

Colorado

  • Total number of workers 16 and older: 2.48 million
  • Number who work at home: 160,304
  • Percentage who work at home: 6.5%
  • Counties with highest percentage of home-based workers: In Ouray and Mineral counties, around 15% work from home.

Source: Facebook

Montana

  • Total number of workers 16 and older: 470,377
  • Number who work at home: 30,471
  • Percentage who work at home: 6.5%
  • Counties with highest percentage of home-based workers: In Liberty County, Judith Basin County, Prairie County, and Powder River County, more than 20% work at home. In Carter County, 32.5% work from home. All five of these counties each contain less than 1,000 workers.
Mt. Mansfield, Stowe, Vermont, fall

Source: iStock

Vermont

  • Total number of workers 16 and older: 319,359
  • Number who work at home: 22,600
  • Percentage who work at home: 7.1%
  • Counties with highest percentage of home-based workers: Windham and Addison Counties, where around 9% work from home.

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