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Survey: Quarter of US Workers Commute Via Web – 62% Wish They Could

 “Web Commuters” Can Take Their Online Jobs with Them Wherever They Go

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.-- For a growing number of American workers, the traditional office is becoming more of a touchpad than a daily destination, says a new study, “Web Commuting & the American Workforce,” unveiled by Citrix Online, a division of Citrix Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:CTXS). More people are performing at least part of their jobs online from virtually anywhere, at any hour of the day, thanks to technology that allows them to “take their office with them” wherever they go. These remote workers, called “telecommuters” in the 1980s and 90s, are today more aptly dubbed “Web commuters” for their growing reliance on the Internet.

The national survey conducted by the polling company, inc. shows that:

  • 23% of American workers (and 41% of small business owners) regularly work from home or another offsite location, relying on Web technology (e.g. the Internet, e-mail, or programs that allow them to remotely access their office computers or meet with colleagues online).
  • Of those who currently do not have the ability to do their jobs off site, 62% agreed they would like to be able to do so.

These findings suggest a growing ability -- and desire -- to work from anywhere.

Companies as diverse as Wal-Mart, Blockbuster, FedEx, Circuit City, Albertson’s and Old Navy are reportedly hiring new workers for online jobs and encouraging current employees to do at least some of their work online.

“Web commuting certainly appears to be a trend-in-the-making,” said Kellyanne Conway, CEO and president of the polling company, inc. “The technology is so available, and so reasonably priced, that people of all backgrounds, situations and locations are becoming increasingly mobile. The evidence is strong that Web commuting represents a future where the workplace will be everywhere and the workforce, anyone. Employers should take heed, if they want to attract and retain talent, because Web commuting is a benefit people value highly.”

The survey results indicated that “the ability to work remotely or away from the office at least some of the time” is near the top of the list of the “extra” benefits employees desire: 14% percent of those polled cited its relative value, ahead of stock options (13%) and on-site child care (11%).

American workers aged 18-34 were most excited about working remotely: 70% agreed it would be a welcome opportunity. Often these computer savvy people can act as free-lance professionals who contract with more than one company for online jobs they can do from home. Many go on to become online entrepreneurs hiring even more people to work over the Web.

One reason for this jump from traditional jobs to freelance entrepreneurship may be the offerings of online job listings from companies like Go Freelance, a premier online community for freelance professionals and companies looking to hire skilled freelance workers and experts for internet jobs. The company lists thousands of freelance and work-at-home jobs in the US and worldwide and has a lively community of companies and professionals working online.

College students who often find the local job market overcrowded are discovering that online jobs give them easy work that fits their schedule without requiring previous experience.  Stay-home moms are also finding the Internet a welcome alternative to more traditional careers.

Online jobs open new doors for disabled people in a way that allows many to work as efficiently as any non-disabled person. In addition, it is an opportunity for companies to make jobs available to everyone without incurring the expense of accommodating the special needs of handicapped workers. This opens up a rich new pool of intelligent, enthusiast and dedicated workers across the world. A deaf person for example, might not thrive in a traditional office environment may actually do better than people with normal hearing when working from home on the Internet.

The polling company survey was sponsored by Citrix Online, a provider of easy to use, secure and affordable Web-based services for remote computer access and online meetings. Citrix Online coined the term “web commuting” to describe the behavior uncovered in the survey.

“Web commuters are a substantial portion of our customer base,” said Bernardo de Albergaria, vice president and general manager, eCommerce, for Citrix Online. “Services like web-based remote access, collaboration and support are enabling more and more people to work from anywhere. This is what’s been keeping our company’s growth rate climbing at nearly 50 percent year-over-year.”

Citrix Online’s suite of Web-based services include:

  • Citrix GoToMyPC , for people to remotely access their desktop PC, as if they were there
  • Citrix GoToMeeting , for online meetings
  • Citrix GoToWebinar , for do-it-yourself presentations to up to 1,000 people
  • Citrix GoToAssist, for real-time remote support

Web commuters, already 23% of the general working population and 41% of small business owners in the U.S., seem poised to move toward critical mass, shaping the future of the American business landscape.

“Citrix Online anticipated the demand for Web-based substitutes to office desktops and in-person meetings,” said de Albergaria. “We’ll continue adding to the Web commuter’s tool kit as the boundaries of the global workplace disappear.”

For more information and a free trial of GoToMyPC, visit www.gotomypc.com ; for GoToMeeting, visit www.gotomeeting.com ; for GoToWebinar, visit www.gotowebinar.com .

 

 

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