Survey Suggests Demand for Telecommuting After COVID-19 Crisis

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on
LinkedIn
+

BOSTON – Citing an avoidance of the commute and more flexible scheduling, nearly 63 percent of respondents to Pioneer Institute’s survey, “Will You Commute To Work When The COVID-19 Crisis Is Over?” expressed a preference to work from home one day a week, and a plurality preferred two to three days a week, even after a COVID-19 vaccine is available. Respondents cite social isolation as the biggest drawback of remote work.

The survey was conducted from April 22nd to May 15th, and received responses from over 700 individuals. Pioneer is releasing a policy brief containing analysis of the survey data, entitled “Telecommuting Survey Reveals Potential for Greater Shift Towards Remote Work After COVID-19 Pandemic.”

“The survey results suggest that the pandemic may lead to significant shifts in attitudes toward commuting, with potentially large impacts on the demand for commercial real estate in major job centers, internet connectivity, and transit and transportation planning and budgeting,” said Andrew Mikula, who authored the analysis.

Fourteen percent of the survey’s respondents worked from home before the COVID-19 crisis. Respondents generally report being more productive when telecommuting. An additional 70 percent of the workforce has begun working from home in the wake of the pandemic.

Among respondents surveyed before April 25th, 20 percent said they got more work done at home, while 27 percent said they got less done. Among respondents surveyed after May 8th, 41 percent said they got more done and 13 percent said they got less done.

The effectiveness and appeal of working from home may have far-reaching consequences. While most respondents do not want to work from home all of the time, a plurality wished to work remotely 2-3 days a week. Even a single day a week of remote work for the average employee would alter revenue models for commuter services and public agencies, including state programs that rely on toll revenue.

“The MBTA and state agencies have existing relationships with riders and commuters, and they must act now to engage their customers in order to determine changes in demand resulting from the pandemic,” said Pioneer Institute Executive Director Jim Stergios. “The survey suggests that people’s attitudes are evolving quickly and in a way that is distinct from past routines. The result may be a seismic shift in ridership patterns and even a significant change in how and where employers seek talent.”

In the short term, the survey indicates that respondents are largely willing to return to their places of business upon request, even before a COVID-19 vaccine is available.

The long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will likely depend on three factors: employer policies that seek to expand or rein in remote work, public policies, and employee sentiment.

“Pioneer will conduct additional surveys in the coming months to gauge the changing sentiments of employees and employers on the topic of telecommuting,” said Stergios.

 

About the Author

Andrew Mikula is the Lovett & Ruth Peters Economic Opportunity Fellow at Pioneer Institute. Mr. Mikula was previously a Roger Perry Government Transparency Intern at Pioneer Institute and studied economics at Bates College.

 

About Pioneer

Mission

Pioneer Institute develops and communicates dynamic ideas that advance prosperity and a vibrant civic life in Massachusetts and beyond.

Vision

Success for Pioneer is when the citizens of our state and nation prosper and our society thrives because we enjoy world-class options in education, healthcare, transportation and economic opportunity, and when our government is limited, accountable and transparent.

Values

Pioneer believes that America is at its best when our citizenry is well-educated, committed to liberty, personal responsibility, and free enterprise, and both willing and able to test their beliefs based on facts and the free exchange of ideas.

Get Our COVID-19 News, Tips & Resources!

Related Posts:

State Ranking: Michigan, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and Nevada have been hardest-hit by COVID-19 jobless claims so far. Massachusetts ranks as 9th hardest-hit.

/
The U.S. Department of Labor reported today that in the week ended April 4, the advance number of seasonally-adjusted initial jobless claims was 6,606,000. This follows 6,867,000 initial claims filed in the week ended March 28 and 3,307,000 in the week ended March 21.

COVID-19 Roundup from Pioneer: Tracking drug discovery efforts; Secrets to Germany’s success; Unemployment tsunami; Voc-techs answering the call; COVID prevalence by town & more!

/
Pioneer staff share their top picks for COVID-19 stories highlighting useful resources, best practices, and questions we should be asking our public and private sector leaders.

COVID-19 unemployment surge is on pace to wipe out the MA Unemployment Reserve Fund within three months

/
The unprecedented surge of COVID-19- related unemployment claims that began two weeks ago is on pace to wipe out the MA unemployment Reserve Fund within three months, which will force state leaders to turn to the federal government for a bailout loan.

Report: MA Likely to See Sharp Spike in Unemployment Rate

The COVID-19 recession could cause Massachusetts’ unemployment rate to skyrocket to 25.4 percent by this June, according to a new policy brief published by Pioneer Institute. The authors recommend that the state join others in lobbying Congress for large block grants to avoid a severe fiscal crisis.

COVID-19 Roundup from Pioneer: Antibodies & serology tests to the rescue; Why such wide-ranging forecasts?; the Droplets v. Aerosol debate; Crowdsourcing symptoms & more!

/
Pioneer staff share their top picks for COVID-19 stories highlighting useful resources, best practices, and questions we should be asking our public and private sector leaders.

Stanford Pulitzer Winner David Kennedy on Lessons for COVID-19 from the 1918 Flu Epidemic & Great Depression

/
This week on “The Learning Curve” Cara and Gerard continue coverage of COVID-19’s impact on K-12 education, joined by Pulitzer-winning historian David Kennedy, the Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History Emeritus at Stanford University.

COVID-19 Roundup from Pioneer: Will we see a spike in crime?; Ranking states on social distancing; Ramping up remote learning; Secrecy about case numbers & more!

/
Pioneer staff share their top picks for COVID-19 stories highlighting useful resources, best practices, and questions we should be asking our public and private sector leaders.

New Report: Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALY) Methodology Discriminates Against Older Americans, Threatens to Deny Seniors Access to Life-Saving Care

New report asserts that with older americans more vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic, all health plans should avoid using the QALY methodology when assessing the value of care for older patients

Learning in the Time of COVID-19

/
Parents are deeply frustrated with the loss of learning their children will be provided as a result of COVID-19. Here are some resources to help address this gap.

Pioneer Launches Report Series Highlighting Massachusetts Job Growth and Business Trends Since 1998

In “Some Big, Broad Economic Trends in Massachusetts,” Pioneer analysis of two decades of data shows fluctuating employment changes across the state, as well as firm size information and the largest employers. The report is part one of aa series that aims to provide deeper insight into COVID-19's economic impact.

COVID-19 Roundup from Pioneer: When will COVID-19 peak in MA?; Life in the aftermath; Tracking potential treatments; Getting America working again; Taking virtual learning to new heights & more!

/
Pioneer staff (and readers) share their top picks for COVID-19 stories highlighting useful resources, best practices, and questions we should be asking our public and private sector leaders.

Students still need to learn during the coronavirus pandemic

/
This op-ed appeared in The Boston Globe on March 31, 2020. State…