What’s Holding Telecommuting Back?

A report (pdf) from last month found a decline in teleworkers:


The green line represents the total number of teleworkers in millions. The red line is for contract employee teleworkers and the blue line is for regular employee teleworkers. Survey participants needed to work at least one day from home per month to qualify. Derek Thompson explains his attachment to the office:

For me, it comes down to people. … Telecommuting is a choice to be alone. It reduces connections between workers. It removes us from the world of work and makes it indistinguishable from the period before and after, which we could simple call life.

Alexis Madrigal agrees but predicts this will change as the population ages:

For younger people, going to an office is more fun than sitting at home. It's where they make friends and find camaraderie. Home is great for a few hours, and then it's kind of lonely and dull. While there are coworking spaces and coffeeshops, the easiest solution is to just go into the office. So, here's my plausible thought about the future. As the Internet-native generation, which communicates by IM even in the office, starts to have kids, they'll care less about office life and more about home. Telecommuting will take off.