Loading...

Working From Home Will Stick Post-Pandemic, Experts Say

May 13, 2021 by Reece Nations
(Photo courtesy microbizmag.co.uk via WIkimedia Commons)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research contends that working from home may be here to stay after the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided.

The paper — authored jointly by Steven Davis of the University of Chicago, Jose Maria Barrero of Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, and Nicholas Bloom of Stanford University — examines survey information and other data to investigate and explain the shift towards working from home. 

“COVID-19 triggered a mass social experiment in working from home,” the text of the research paper, entitled Why Working From Home Will Stick©, states. “Americans, for example, supplied roughly half of paid work hours from home between April and December 2020, as compared to 5% before the pandemic. This seismic shift in working arrangements has attracted no shortage of opinions about whether WFH will stick.” 

In the paper, the experts conclude this “experiment” triggered by the pandemic forced businesses to tailor their practices specifically for WFH arrangements. By taking this course of action, many employers may have unwittingly created tangible benefits in their workplaces which are likely to stick post-pandemic. 

The experts examined “Survey of Working Arrangements and Attitudes” data from over 30,000 Americans for the research paper. The shift in working accommodations for some post-pandemic is expected to disproportionately benefit workers who are highly-educated and well-paid. 

The researcher’s data on employer plans and the relative productivity of working from home suggest a productivity boost of 5% to the country’s post-pandemic economy because of “re-optimized working arrangements.” This shift towards expanded WFH accommodations is projected to reduce spending in major city centers by anywhere from 5-10% due to reduced commuting costs, relative to the pre-pandemic economic outlook of the region. 

“Respondents report lingering concerns about contagion and proximity to others, even as vaccinations have become widely available and more widespread,” Barrero tweeted, suggesting concerns about contagion risks will also contribute to the WFH shift. 

Because of new investments in capital that enable sustained WFH practices, better-than-expected WFH experiences throughout the pandemic, diminished WFH stigmatization post-pandemic, and a surge in technological innovations that improve the practice, among other factors, the experts posit this could result in permanent accommodations for some Americans going forward. 

Because these newfound productivity gains do not account for time savings from reduced commuting, only about one-fifth of the gains will appear in conventional productivity measures. Working from home arrangements were feasible for roughly half of the employees in the Survey of Working Arrangements and Attitudes, which typically entails hybrid scheduling of two workdays per week at home.

“Employer plans imply that the extent of WFH will rise sharply with education and earnings in the post-pandemic economy,” the text of the paper concluded. “These plans align well with worker desires at the upper end of the earnings distribution, but not for others. For most workers, the post-pandemic economy will entail more WFH than in the pre-COVID economy but considerably less than they would like. To put it another way, the benefits of a persistent shift to WFH will be broadly felt but flow mainly to the better educated and the highly paid.”

Employment

US Jobless Claims Hit 52-Year Low After Seasonal Adjustments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits plummeted last week to the lowest level in more... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits plummeted last week to the lowest level in more than half a century, another sign that the U.S. job market is rebounding rapidly from last year's coronavirus recession. Jobless claims dropped by 71,000 to 199,000,... Read More

November 24, 2021
by Dan McCue
Study Finds Significant Bipartisan Support for Corporate Social Responsibility

WASHINGTON — A new, groundbreaking study suggests not only is there strong bipartisan support for corporate efforts to address environmental,... Read More

WASHINGTON — A new, groundbreaking study suggests not only is there strong bipartisan support for corporate efforts to address environmental, social and governance challenges, but that the bipartisan appeal of these initiatives dramatically increases among Americans under the age of 45. The study, “Unlocking the Bipartisan... Read More

November 17, 2021
by Dan McCue
Biden Administration Suspends Enforcement of Vaccine Mandate

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Wednesday suspended enforcement of a vaccine mandate on private companies with 100 or more... Read More

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Wednesday suspended enforcement of a vaccine mandate on private companies with 100 or more employees. The decision, which was carried out through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, comes less than a week after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of... Read More

November 17, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck
FDA Issues New Guidance For Use Of AI In Health Care

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently partnered with Health Canada and the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products... Read More

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently partnered with Health Canada and the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to issue guiding principles to align efforts and standards for artificial intelligence and machine learning medical device development in health care.  “The FDA believes... Read More

November 16, 2021
by Dan McCue
6th Circuit to Oversee Lawsuits of Employer Vaccination Mandate

WASHINGTON — The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will preside over all litigation stemming from the Biden administration’s decision... Read More

WASHINGTON — The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will preside over all litigation stemming from the Biden administration’s decision to require companies with at least 100 employees to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations or weekly testing, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation announced Tuesday.  The conservative-leaning... Read More

November 16, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
Sexually Harassed Employees Urge Congress to End Arbitration Clauses

WASHINGTON — Sexual assault victims told a congressional panel Tuesday that arbitration clauses required by many employers in employment contracts... Read More

WASHINGTON — Sexual assault victims told a congressional panel Tuesday that arbitration clauses required by many employers in employment contracts create an incentive for more workers to be victimized. The victims prefer that sexual harassment and assault claims be adjudicated in courts to ensure misdeeds of... Read More

News From The Well
Exit mobile version