Telecommuting in Phoenix growing; Valley ranks 7th in the nation for working from home

Posted at 4:27 PM, Aug 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-24 01:50:12-04

Work from home!  You've seen the ads on websites or the emails in your inbox.  Promises of a living wage while working out of the comfort of your own digs.  

Holly Foreman from Chandler actually does it -- and yes, sometimes in her pajamas.  "It depends on if there are any video calls that day," she laughed.  "Half of the phone calls that I'm on are video calls, so I still do my best to be presentable all the time."  



  • 50% of the US workforce holds a job that is compatible with at least partial telework and approximately 20-25% of the workforce teleworks at some frequency.
  • 80% to 90% of the US workforce says they would like to telework at least part time.
  • Fortune 1000 companies around the globe are entirely revamping their space around the fact that employees are already mobile. Studies repeatedly show they are not at their desk 50-60% of the time.
  • On average, a telecommuter is college-educated, 49 years old, and earns an annual salary of $58,000 while working for a company with more than 100 employees.
  • 75% of employees who work from home earn over $65,000 per year.

Foreman is a publishing manager for Book in a Box, a company co-founded by best-selling author Tucker Max. Book in a Box takes the writing out of writing a book.  Through a series of recorded interviews, authors convey their ideas to Book in a Box professionals. The company then produces the book in the author's voice.

The flexibility

Foreman wakes up, brews her coffee and walks to her home office. But the space isn't only hers, she shares it with her pets.  In fact, the cat's bed takes up the left side of her large corner desk.  For her, the decision to work from home was about a work/life balance.  After 20 years in the hotel and retail management world, she was ready for some flexibility to travel with her boyfriend.  He's an aerial firefighter and sometimes spends months away on a job.  "This gives me so much of my time back.  I had a half hour commute both ways and I'm saving my own time on top of it," she said.  The two are also avid RVers.  Telecommuting means she will be able take her work on the road.  

Holly Foreman and boyfriend

Watch for work-from-home scams

Foreman found the job on, a website which showcases telecommuting positions, part-time and freelance jobs and jobs with flexible schedules.  Sara Sutton Fell, the CEO of Flexjobs, said finding a legitimate telecommuting job can be challenging.  But there's usually one common denominator in the bogus job postings.  "Most of them use the keywords 'work from home,'" Sutton Fell said.  "There are 60 to 70 scams for every real legitimate telecommuting job."  Fell said Flexjobs hand-screens every job posting for legitimacy to be sure none of them is too good to be true.  Foreman landed the job at Book in a Box in May after a grueling series of interviews.  "It was a pretty intense process, it took over a month," Foreman said.  "There were 1000 applicants and they had two positions."  

Telecommuting growth 

Summary of Trends:


  • Regular work-at-home, among the non-self-employed population, has grown by 103% since 2005.
  • 3.7 million employees (2.8% of the workforce) now work from home at least half the time.
  • The employee population as a whole grew by 1.9% from 2013 to 2014, while employees who telecommuter population grew 5.6%.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey, Phoenix's telecommuting population has grown 35 percent since 2007.   The Census Bureau reports around 5.8 percent of people in Phoenix metro telecommute, which is above the national average of 4.5 percent. Arizona is seventh in the country for telecommuting.  

"A lot of employers and managers still have concerns about people working from home and they're based on historical stigmas of a lack of productivity, workers not really working because they can't be seen," Sutton Fell said.  " It's based on measurements of productivity that are relying on face time and the fact you can watch somebody, therefore they are working. We know now that is not actually measured productivity in this day and age."

According to, the average telecommuter is college-educated, 49 years old, and earns $58,000 a year.   Foreman said it will be hard to ever go back to a traditional job if she has to.  "I just find myself so much happier and better balanced too," she said.

*Information in fact boxes from