Despite widespread claims to the contrary, many office workers have enjoyed the opportunity to work remotely. Almost two-thirds of U.S. workers said they wanted to work from home at least three days a week when the pandemic was over, according to a McKinsey survey at the start of the year.
The big prize has been scrapping the commute.
According to the Census Bureau, Americans spent, on average, 55.2 minutes a day commuting in 2019, before the pandemic. One in 10 people spent more than 10 hours commuting every single week — the equivalent of an extra day of work.
Working from home has enabled people to save a huge amount of money, reduce stress, and trade time they would have spent in a car or train for more time with their family, or enjoying hobbies.
But will this continue? Some employers view commuting time as an extension of the work day — and they may want it back.
If employees no longer spend time commuting, could employers ask them to work longer instead? Perhaps used as ‘prep time’ before the official work day starts?
Some commentators think so. For now, the labor market is favoring employees, as employers battle to attract and retain talent. But what comes next?