Many companies in the U.S. have been working from home since the spread of the coronavirus. These companies might want to continue with this process as a new study shows that not driving to work has saved Americans nearly $91 billion.
Economist Adam Ozimek of Upwork, who is behind the study, looked at the new changes in corporate structures since the pandemic began. “Since the onset of COVID-19 and the massive shift to remote work, however, many are considering life without a commute,” he wrote in the study.
Ozimek said: “To understand the impact of remote work on commutes, we surveyed 1,000 people currently working from home to see how much time they are saving sans commute. Of this group, 31.4% are working from home due to COVID and 15% were working from home prior to COVID.”
Essentially, the study found that the average American worker saved $2,000 each in car commuting since mid-March. “Of the COVID remote workers, 86% report having previously commuted by car and are now saving, on average, 46.3 minutes per day,” Ozimek said. “Altogether, we estimate that those post-COVID remote workers are saving 32.9 million hours of car commuting per day.”
Americans have seen a boost in productivity following a reduction in commuting, according to the study. For every day of the pandemic, $183 million was saved in fuel alongside the costs of car maintenance and repairs, the study estimates.
It adds that fewer accidents and reduced pollution saved commuters a further $164 million while $411 million is the value of time saved. In effect, workers who used to drive to the office saved $758 million a day or over $90 billion since mid-March.
But these commuter savings have led to losses in public transportation. Last week, New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) said it will be compelled to make job and service cuts if it doesn’t get federal aid.