Working at Home: Findings from the 2001 Current Population Survey
Vanessa Wight, University of Maryland
Home-based work is often thought of as a way to meet both employers' and employees' needs for flexibility. However, home-based work also blurs the distinction between and permeates the boundaries of work and family life. The goal of this analysis is to begin to understand whether home-based work might fit family needs or whether it represents "spillover" that can be detrimental to family life. Using data from the May 2001 CPS, this paper first examines the demographic, family, and labor force characteristics of those who do some, all, and none of their work at home. Second, this paper focuses on the main reason reported for working at home for the subset of home-based workers. Understanding the differences among home-based workers is a first step to anticipating future trends in this mode of work, which will help employers and policymakers make informed choices about how best to create and maintain successful family-friendly work environments.