Pre-pandemic times are a lot different than now. Perhaps the biggest change is the attitude around commuting and in-office work. Daily commutes and everything that dreaded drive brings along with it – from gas money to wasted time sitting in rush hour traffic – was once considered an unfortunate necessity, but it’s not so black and white anymore.
As employees shifted to remote work, the idea that you need to be in the office to do work started to fizzle out, and employees started to realize that remote work was more than convenient – it could give them much-needed time back in their day.
Remote work gives employees significant time back
Remote work can save employees up to 72 minutes a day, according to new research from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).
In the U.S., commuters saved an average of 55 minutes. However, the time saved from commuting was much higher in other countries, such as 102 minutes in China and 99 minutes in India.
Working from home saved workers two hours per week in 2021 and 2022, according to the research, and the NBER predicts that it will decrease to one hour per week post-pandemic.
That extra time saved was spent on varied tasks, such as:
- Primary or secondary job (40%),
- Leisure (34%), and
- Caregiving (11%).
Women with children spent an additional 11.4 minutes of their daily time savings to caregiving activities, but only 0.4 additional minutes are spent when there are no children under 14 in the house. Additionally, the research found that there are only modest differences when it comes to how men and women spend their time.
The hidden values of remote work
Putting aside the saved commuting time, remote work offers more time-saving benefits to employees that are often overlooked by employees and employers.
Grooming. Not having to go into work gives employees added time in the morning that they’d usually spend on grooming and getting ready for their workday.
Commuting costs. Commuting – whether it’s by car, bus or train – costs money, and those expenses can add up quickly, making remote work a valuable cost-saving option for many. Not to mention, less cars and commutes can help the environment.
Flexibility. It’s no secret that workers – especially since the pandemic began – crave flexibility. Remote or hybrid work can offer employees the flexibility they crave and give them more autonomy throughout their day.