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May 7, 2002
Home Workers Moving From Part-Time To Full-Time
By Sherril Steele-Carlin

Great news for home office workers! According to recent research released by IDC,, home offices are growing even more as we move through the first decade of the new millennium. Home offices are projected to grow to 34.3 percent of the workforce by the end of 2002, a growth of .6 percent since 1999.

The biggest trend in home offices is for home office workers to work more hours. What may have started out as a part-time business may now be taking up more than 40 hours a week of the home worker's time.

According to IDC's research, there are three factors contributing to this growth in full-time home office work. They are 1) "Pressure to Perform." With layoffs, restructuring, and company instability, many home workers are now the sole source of support for their families. What may have started out as a part-time endeavor is now by necessity a full-time job. Part-time home offices are expected to decrease 5.4 percent by the end of 2002, according to the report. IDC's research says it best, "Home office as hobby is now a thing of the past."

2) Greater upheaval of corporate workers who work at home, especially telecommuting workers. Companies with home workers are finding that telecommuting is a career step, and not necessarily a career path. Workers find if they want to advance in the company, telecommuting may not be the way to do it. They need to see and be seen, and working at home keeps them out of the loop in many areas. While telecommuting is still a popular and viable alternative to commuting and downsizing office space, corporate home offices are only expected to grow by 2.4 percent by the end of 2002.

3) "Availability of new technology." The availability of new technology has created a whole new generation of people who can afford to work at home. Computers, fax machines, copies, cell phones, and electronics have come down in price so much that just about anyone who wants to start a home business can do it with a relatively minimal outlay of cash. There are also many inexpensive software solutions to help telecommuters connect with their offices, and communicate even while they are on the road. High speed Internet access also makes it possible to work from home effectively and efficiently.

Another article by the Wahmpreneur News Magazine, reports difficulty in coming up with viable numbers on those who are self-employed in home businesses. They say a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) study demonstrates "that there is still no consensus among research professionals about the best way to count the noses of people who work from home." According to the BLS study "there are 19.8 million persons who usually did some work at home as part of their primary job." This is a "particularly curious" statistic because they go on to say, "only 30 percent of those people -- approximately 6 million -- were 'self-employed.'" This seems to point to the BLS not calling any of these part-time workers "small business proprietors." The BLS needs to change the way they recognize small business owners to keep up with this growing trend of home business growth.

Wahmpreneur goes on to report, "Recent research bears out this view. The astounding growth in women-owned businesses, minority-owned businesses and micro enterprises that has occurred over the last decade is evidence of the fact that those are the areas that need to be researched -- largely because many policy initiatives coming from Washington indicate that there is not enough known about them. The information gap is huge."

As the information gap narrows, and home business becomes more recognized, more home business owners will find success in self-employment. You know your home office is successful when you have more work than you can handle! For more information on creating and maintaining your home office, visit's Home Business News.

Sherril Steele-Carlin is a full-time freelance writer from Reno, Nevada. She's published numerous articles in print and online publications. She's also the author of the e-book "How to get a Life by Living and Working in a National Park." AND
"How to Break Into Casino Jobs."
Visit her web site at

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