Telecommuting’s Economic Impact

Sep 19, 2022 | Ask "Z" Economist, No Bull Economics

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26% of the workforce telecommutes at least 1 day/week according to a US Census survey. 64% do not telecommute & 9% did not report. Notably, telecommuting is most prevalent among the 25 – 39 age cohort that works from home full-time. While telecommuting enhances lifestyle, there is question to what extent this impacts productivity with many employers requiring employees to return to the office post-covid. Also, telecommuting has an impact on retail traffic with fewer people shopping along the path of their commute. Finally, there is also an impact on migration as telecommuters have an incentive to relocate to lower cost, less stressful areas of the country (even if it means lower pay as is the case for some telecommuters). However, perhaps the most important impact is that telecommuters may become more independent-minded with less of an attachment to their employer. This could eventually lead to more telecommuters seeking self-employment opportunities as they learn to identify more as independent contractors and less as simply corporate workers.

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