A new report by WFH Research shows that the number of people working from home in America continues to rise, even as the COVID-19 pandemic winds down. According to the data-collection project, almost 30% of all work was done at home in January, up six times from the rate in 2019. In large urban centers like Washington, D.C., this figure is even higher, approaching 50%. As a result, many office buildings in these cities sit empty.
Economists consider the rise in remote work to be the biggest change to the labor market since World War II. While employers have gradually summoned American workers back to the office since 2021, the number of remote workers has stabilized at around 30%. Experts predict that remote work is here to stay since it has proven to be popular with workers, and employers have learned to live with it.
Barbara Larson, an executive professor of management at Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business, stated, “There’s sufficient and growing evidence that people do work well when they’re working from home. It’s not like everybody was working hard when they were in the office.” The average worker saves 70 minutes of daily commuting time by working from home, and almost half of that extra time is spent working.
The rise in remote work has had a significant impact on the largest cities, with occupancy rates in office buildings only reaching 50% for the first time since the pandemic began last month. The remote work “gap” amounts to roughly one day, with the average worker preferring to go into the office two days a week, while the average employer prefers three days.
WFH Research believes that the remote work movement is an opportunity for corporations to reimagine how they operate. However, there is a fiscal cost to the remote work revolution, and some mayors, tax collectors, and downtown businesses have struggled with the shift. In New York, Bloom said the city “is going to see about $12 billion less in expenditures in downtown Manhattan” because of remote work. Despite this, the remote work movement is predicted to continue, with hybrid job listings rising steadily since 2020.
FingerLakes1.com is the region’s leading all-digital news publication. The company was founded in 1998 and has been keeping residents informed for more than two decades. Have a lead? Send it to [email protected].