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National  + Weekender  | 

Report: Remote Work and Impact on Commute Times

The COVID-19 pandemic meant more people worked from home. One issue cropping up from that past (and continued) trend is how a WFH increase might impact commute times.

A recent CommercialCafe study reported that an increase in the number of remote workers reduced commute times for those still on the road, as evidenced by the following national numbers from U.S. Census survey data:

  • The remote workforce increased from 6% in 2019 to just below 18% in 2021
  • In 2019, Americans spent an average of 55.2 minutes per day on a round-trip commute
  • In 2021, the same commute time dropped to 51.2 minutes per day

Breaking it down regionally, the Western U.S. experienced the greatest reduction in commute times. For example, average commute times in San Jose, CA decreased from 31.7 minutes in 2019 to 24.4 minutes in 2021, while the number of remote workers grew from 4% in 2019 to nearly 30% just two years later.

Larger cities reported the following commute time decreases between 2019 and 2021:

  • San Francisco, 5.5 minutes
  • Chicago, 3.4 minutes
  • Washington, D.C., 3.4 minutes
  • Los Angeles, 3.2 minutes
  • Boston, MA: 2.6 minutes
  • New York, 1.9 minutes

The study listed other potential WFH or remote work benefits, including increasing the talent pool, broadening employment opportunities and a wider adoption of workplace technology. Additionally, “a flexible, remote-friendly work environment is in high demand with younger generations,” the study added.


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About Amy Wolff Sorter

I love content. I love writing it, visualizing it, and manipulating it to fit into different formats. I have years of experience in working with content, both as creator and editor. The content I create and edit provides assistance with many goals, ranging from lead generation, to developing street cred through well-timed thought-leadership pieces. Content skills include, but aren't limited to, articles and blogs, e-mails, promotional collateral, infographics, e-books and white papers, website copy and more.

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