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.
- 45% of jobs can be done remotely although this might increase inequality of remote work
- Two-thirds of remote workers want to continue to work remotely
- Remote work resulted in a 30% increase in hours worked and 20% decrease in productivity
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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.
While not having to commute is equivalent pay raise, it’s not necessarily better for the environment.
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 survey by Breeze, an insurance company, found that 65% of people would take a 5% pay cut, 38% would take a 10% pay cut, 24% would take a 15% pay cut, 18% would take a 20% pay cut, and 15 % would take a 25% pay cut.
In a recent article in Business Insider, a leaked pay calculator and interviews found that some employees face pay cuts if they continue to work remotely. In one example, an employee based in Stamford, CT would face a 15% pay cut unless they worked from the NYC office (1 hour commute). Former San Francisco employees could face as much as a 25% pay cut.