LANSING — Connect Michigan has released a new report on teleworking in Michigan.
The report, “Teleworking in Michigan – Empowering Workers Through Broadband,” was originally developed as a part of the Connect Michigan 2011 Residential Technology Assessment that examined the impact of teleworking in Michigan.
Teleworking — which has the potential to significantly modify Michigan’s business climate — is emerging as a highly flexible option for Michigan residents to leverage their intellectual capital in a knowledge-based economy. Teleworking could provide opportunities for Michiganders who are not currently working to join the ranks of the employed. Empowering Michiganders to telework could provide a definite and measurable economic advantage to the state.
According to a survey conducted by Connect Michigan, 24 percent of Michigan businesses allowed teleworking in 2010. This number jumped 5 percentage points to 29 percent in 2011, highlighting a shift toward greater acceptance of teleworking in the business community.
Among the findings from this report:
* Altogether, 47 percent of employed Michigan adults say that they either telework now or would be willing to do so if given the opportunity by their employers. This represents more than 1.8 million employed Michigan adults. An additional 1.1 million Michigan adults who do not currently work say they would be willing to do so if empowered to telework.
* Across Michigan, nearly one in five employees — 19 percent, representing approximately 741,000 adults — work from home instead of commuting.
* On average, Michigan teleworkers work from home at least 1.6 days per week. This results in an average of 2,560 fewer miles driven per year for each teleworker.
* Statewide, teleworkers save a total of $336.5 million in reduced operating costs for their automobiles.
* Teleworking also has a positive environmental impact, as teleworking reduces CO2 emissions by approximately 884.5 tons per year. This is more than the carbon footprint of every citizen in Muskegon.
* The greatest growth in teleworking between 2010 and 2011 was among adults age 55 and older. Teleworkers tend to be better educated and have higher annual incomes.
“From small towns and rural countryside to urban or suburban centers and remote wilderness, Michigan offers a living environment for every lifestyle. Teleworking, enabled by broadband, gives Michigan residents the flexibility to work where they live and entices younger generations to continue living in the state after graduation,” says Eric Frederick, program manager for Connect Michigan. “Broadband entices seasonal residents and visitors who’ve found the perfect vacation spot to stay a little bit longer and, perhaps, permanently.”
As the designated entity for broadband mapping and planning in the state of Michigan, Connect Michigan is a public-private partnership between the Michigan Public Service Commission and Connected Nation to unite local governments, businesses, and citizens in the goal of increasing broadband service in the state’s underserved areas. For more information about what Connect Michigan is doing to accelerate technology in Michigan’scommunities, visit www.connectmi.org.