The dream of working from home is becoming a reality for many, new research finds.
The report from the U.S. Census Bureau, which combines data from several different national surveys, shows a steady increase over the past decade in the number of employees telecommuting.
Based on the Census Bureau's Survey of Income and Program Participation, the number of people who worked at home at least one day a week increased from 9.5 million in 1999 to 13.4 million in 2010, and that figure represents nearly 10 percent of all U.S. workers.
The study revealed the largest increase occurred between 2005 and 2010, when the work-at-home population increased by more than 2 million.
A separate Census Bureau poll, the American Community Survey, found that 5.8 million employees worked the majority of the week at home in 2010, an increase of about 1.6 million since 2000.
"As communication and information technologies advance, we are seeing that workers are increasingly able to perform work at home," said Peter Mateyka, an analyst in the Census Bureau's Journey-to-Work and Migration Statistics Branch and one of the authors of the report. "These changes in work patterns have both economic and social implications."
The report reveals that about one-quarter of home-based workers, who earn an average of $74,000 a year, are in management, business andfinancial occupations, while the number of employees who work from home in the computer, engineering and science occupations increased by 69 percent over the last decade.
Specifically, the research found that a few cities had the largest percentage of employees working from home, namely Boulder, Colo.; Medford, Ore.; Santa Fe, N.M.; Kingston, N.Y. and Santa Rosa-Petaluma, Calif..