Working more while staying home

Wall Street Journal
A visual representation of how the average American spent time during a 24-hour period in 2014. (Wall Street Journal)

In 2014 Americans worked more hours but also found the time to sleep, watch television and do housework.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released the results of the annual American Time Use Survey. This survey provides representative estimates of how Americans spend their time during an average day. However, it is not what Americans are doing, but where Americans are spending their time that may come as a surprise.

Americans are spending more time working away from the office. There has been a significant upswing from 2003 to 2014 in the number of employed workers who in part or totally work from home.

“As a mom and a business owner, I get the flexibility to choose when and where I want to work,” said Marti Johnsen, owner of Marti Johnsen Photography in Draper, who works from home. “Some days I spend all day shooting and editing, while some days I don’t pick up my camera.”

According to the study, 23 percent of employed workers do some or all of their work at home, up from 19 percent in 2003.

“I get to do what I love from the comfort of my home,” Johnsen said.

On average, Americans logged 7.8 hours on the job as opposed to 7.6 hours logged in 2013. Men worked an average of 8.12 hours a day, while women worked an average of 7.27 hours a day. The Labor Department said this difference is due to the greater likelihood of women only working part-time.

However, the hours women work are continuing to grow.

“Working at home is on the rise. Advances in communication and information technologies have allowed for a more mobile workforce. This is reflected in a growing number of people working from home,” the Census Bureau said in a news release.

Thirty-nine percent of workers with a bachelor’s degree worked from home on any given day in 2014. This is twice as likely as someone who attended college but did not graduate with a bachelor’s degree but achieved an associate’s degree or did not receive a degree at all.

“We do have a few people in our call center that work from home, but it is a handful of people, and I believe that is not always going to be the case,” said Jamie Kaneko, senior PR manager of Young Living essential oils.

Even though Americans spend a lot of time on the job, both in the office and at home, they still find the time to relax, do household chores, take care of kids and watch television, but not at the expense of sleep.

According to the study, Americans slept more than they did anything else during the day, an average of 8.8 hours. Unfortunately, Americans spent less time on education and participated less in sports and exercise in 2014 than in 2013.

Data for the 2014 survey was gathered from about 11,600 people, both males and females ages 15 and older who were asked how they spend their time during an average 24-hour day.

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