Those hellbent of pushing workers back into overcrowded CBDs via underfunded public transport and congested road systems need to look at the data on why working from home should be encouraged.
From the Becker Friedman Institute at University of Chicago, who recently re-visited their studies on time savings in the “new workfromhome world”:
Work from home saved about two hours per week per worker in 2021 and 2022, and will likely save about one hour per week per worker after the pandemic ends; workers allocate 40 percent of time savings to work and about 11 percent to caregiving activities.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought a shift in how people work, with more people expecting to work from home, and employers willing to meet that demand (“Working from Home Around the World”). This work revisits this issue to estimate the time savings that arise in a new work-from-home (WFH) world when people make fewer commutes:
The average daily savings in commute time is 72 minutes when working from home.
When the authors account for the incidence of WFH across workers—including those who never work remotely—WFH saved about two hours per week per worker in 2021 and 2022, and will likely save about one hour per week per worker post pandemic.
For a full-time worker, these savings amount to 2.2 percent of a 46-hour workweek (40 paid hours plus six hours of commuting) which, in an aggregate of hundreds of millions of worldwide workers, amounts to significant savings.
Regarding how workers apply those savings, the authors find that, on average, those who WFH devote 40 percent of their time savings to primary and secondary jobs, 34 percent to leisure, and 11 percent to caregiving activities.
Kind of blindingly obvious that we all don’t need to be commuting for an hour or more each day in a small cage to then work 8 hours or more in a small cage, coming home to a small cage aka dogbox, but this seems to be the corporate paradigm on how to treat its stock of workers.