Nearly 30 Percent of Work Remains Remote in January

Nearly 30 percent of work continued to be remote in January — six times the rate in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic.

WFH Research, a data-collection project, found that the share of all work performed at home rose from 4.7 percent in January 2019 to 61.5 percent in May 2020. Since then, remote work is still at about 27.2 percent, less than half of what it was at the height.

The study showed that when employees were asked if they worked a full day (six or more hours) each day last week and where they worked, 59.1 percent of the full-time employees said they were entirely on-site, while 28.2 percent said they were hybrid, and 12.7 percent said they had a fully work-from-home arrangement.

“It’s affected so many things,” Nicholas Bloom, a Stanford University economist, and WFH researcher, told the Hill. “It’s affected city structure. It’s affecting days of the week that people play sport: golf, tennis. It’s affecting retail. It’s completely skewed, mostly in a positive way, the American economy.”

Due to a large number of employees still working remotely, many U.S. cities are also seeing a significant reduction in spending from work-from-home days — somewhere between $2,000 and $5,000 an employee in the city.

WFH Research also showed that — when comparing the average weekly expenditure near work in 2019 with the average amount of post-COVID work-from-home days in the June to November period of 2022 from each of the 12 top metropolitan statistical areas — Washington, DC, saw the most significant reduction of person days on business premises while New York City saw the most significant decrease in spending ($ per person per year).

The top five cities with the most significant reduction of person days on business premises per percent were Washington, DC, at 37 percent; Atlanta, Georgia, at 34.9 percent; Phoenix, Arizona, at 34.1 percent; Los Angeles, California, at 32.9 percent; and New York, New York at 32.9 percent.

The top five cities with the most significant reduction of spending in dollar amounts per person per year were New York City, at $4,661; Los Angeles, California, at $4,200; Washington, DC, at $4,051; Atlanta, Georgia at $3,938; and Miami Florida at $3,323.

As the report from WFH Research showed that Washington, DC, is at the top of cities with the most significant reduction of person days on business premises, and the top five cities that are dealing with the greatest reduction of spending in dollar amounts were a person per year, the cities mayor, Muriel Bowser, has repeatedly asked the Biden administration to end the work-from-home policies for federal government employees.

Last month, Bowser argued that the federal government should use the office spaces for government employees or be allowed to take advantage of the office spaces to attract and house more residents:

We need decisive action by the White House to either get most federal workers back to the office most of the time or realign their vast property holdings for use by the local government, by nonprofits, by businesses and by any user willing to revitalize it.

“Converting office space into housing is the key to unlocking the potential of a reimagined, more vibrant downtown,” Bowser added.



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