The short answer is yes, absolutely. But what are the reasons for this? Let’s delve into the “why”.
Starting and growing your own business is certainly not a walk in the park. When you’re employed, your manager tells you which projects you’re going to work on, which means you’re not stressing about whether you’ll have enough work on your plate.
Administrative tasks are taken care of for you. There’s an accounting department and someone else is ordering supplies. If a colleague leaves, you don’t have to spend your time looking for another hire. Even if one of these things are in your job description, you’re not doing all of them as an employee. So far, it sounds pretty good to be employed by someone else.
But judging by the rising numbers of sole proprietors, freelancers and home-based businesses, people are reaping the benefits of working from home. After all, you get to avoid traffic and eliminate mind-numbingly boring commutes, work on your own terms, enjoy creative freedom, spend more quality time at home with loved ones, take all of the profits “home” and more.
The proportion of Canadians working from home—both employees and the self-employed—has grown from 17% in 2000 to 19% in 2008. While the incidence of employees working from home has increased, it has remained relatively stable. However, for self-employed workers, which includes home-based businesses, the increase has been more substantial. In 2006, 54% of self-employed people worked from home. Two years later, it climbed to 60%, accounting for 1.8 million workers. In Canada, 15% of workers are self-employed, yet they account for about half of those who work from home. 1
In the US, the share of businesses that are home-based has remained relatively constant over the past decade, at about 50% of all businesses. More specifically, 60.1% of all firms without paid employees are home-based.2 Furthermore, 3.9 million Americans or 2.9% of the total US workforce, work from home at least half the time.3 Even though this number includes people employed by companies, it demonstrates the desire of the workforce to work from home.