New data quantifies that the number of remote workers in the U.S. has reached new heights, changing the way employees work, commute, and live.
- From 2019 to 2021 the number of Americans working remote more than tripled in number—a practice that shows no signs of slowing down.
- More than 27 million employees primarily work from home, reports Gwynn Guiliford in The Wall Street Journal.
- Metropolitan areas saw the greatest increase, likely because workers in these areas primarily have white collar jobs that can be done remotely, unlike blue collar jobs.
- As more employees took advantage of remote work options, commute habits changed as well, with fewer people using public transportation and carpooling. The drop resulted in less traffic and shorter commute times for those who did travel to the office.
Why it’s news
Remote work is likely here to stay, with more employees preferring the flexibility of work from home options.
As fewer employees prefer to work out of the office, businesses—and the rest of the world—will need to adapt and change.
Some businesses are already changing the way their offices run in order to accommodate fewer employees visiting daily.
More employees are moving away from the office, changing housing needs and reducing traffic in big cities, meaning public transportation will need to adjust to the changing demand.
There are some employers trying to force workers back to in-person offices, but with the world already adapting, that may be more difficult than expected.
Office location isn’t the only major change that comes with remote work. Transportation habits have changed dramatically as well. Here’s a look at some of the numbers. . .
- 17% of employees worked remotely in 2021, a dramatic increase from 5.7% in 2019.
- 30% of employees in cities like Boulder, Colorado; Washington, D.C.; Austin, Texas; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Seattle reported working remotely for the most part.
- 10% of employees in smaller cities like Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Bakersfield, California; and Wichita, Kansas reported working from home.
- 105 million people drove to work without carpooling in 2021 compared to 119 million in 2019.
- 3.8 million people used public transport in 2021.