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While just 5% of the workforce in the US worked from home prior to the pandemic, 20% are expected to work from home permanently.
Many companies are moving to a hybrid remote setup when it’s safe for employees to return to offices. Some will allow employees to choose when they work from home and when they work from the office. However, this leads to an in-group (people in the office) and an out-group (people working from home more often).
A survey found that 38% of remote workers regularly work from their beds. 45% regularly work from the couch.
Merging data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79) round 16, and American Time Use Survey (ATUS) shows that an estimated 45% of jobs (~67MM based on number of employed citizens) in the US can be done remotely. However, prior to the pandemic only 10% of workers who could work remotely actually did (the takeup rate).
We can come up with a valuation of remote work by looking at a few signals: what you would forgo, what do you gain, what others gain, and what others lose.
A 2019 Pew Research survey found that Black and Hispanic people have less access to broadband internet than White people (66% 61% vs 79% respectively). This digital divide is becoming more pronounced due to trends in remote work.
A poll done by Morning Consult on behalf of Bloomberg News in May 2021 showed that 39% of U.S. adults would consider quitting if they weren’t able to work from home. Millenials and GenZ respondents showed 49%.
A study found that US adults experienced significantly more depressive symptoms in 2021 (32.8%) compared to the early months of the pandemic (27.8%) and before the pandemic (8.5%). Predictors of pandemic depression include low household income, not being married, and pandemic-related stressors.
According to a recent survey by WayUp that measured how job seekers felt in the current COVID-19 job climate, Black and Hispanic/Latino job seekers were 145% more likely to be concerned about being capable of doing a job remotely compared to White job seekers. Lack of physical space, access to broadband, and having more people in the household are contributing factors.
In 2019, Americans spent an average of 55.2 minutes per day commuting. During the COVID-19 pandemic, remote workers have completely eliminated morning commutes which is like a 10% raise (or higher if you are like 10% of Americans that commute two hours per day). The monetary value of saved commuting time would be equivalent to the largest tax cuts for the middle class ever.