Given that Congress and the U.S. Census Bureau have dropped the ball on seeking census information on the virtual workplace (which includes home-based companies), I'm working with EONS.com to seek the missing data.
As noted many times on the blog, without data our population is literally (not virtually) obliterated from government statisticians and policy makers. This lack of information affects everything from home construction to health care.
To move our cause into the academic realm and gain additional support it would be great to have a think tank or data experts sponsor an academically-constructed survey to address the virtual economy.
For this reason, I'm in discussion with Michael Goodman, Director of Economic and Public Policy Research at the the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute, regarding developing a scientifically-constructed study of the virtual economy for municipalities, regions, states or the nation to be based on a pilot survey about to be released on EONS.com.
Questions are geared to three cohorts:
Those currently employed, but working virtually through their employer or maintaining a side business;
Those self-employed working virtually, whether working from home, a rental or the owner of a property that houses their company,
And those nearing retirement who seek to enter the virtual workplace, whether working from home, a rental or even buying a property to house a company.
Parties interested in sponsoring this sort of study should reach AmyZ through the Experts link (under People) at EONs.com, or visit her at the Building a Virtual Business group at EONS.com.
Or, you can write to Amy Zuckerman at email@example.com.